THE Police High Command yesterday remained mum about allegations that a senior member attached to the Polygraph Unit of the Jamaica Constabulary (JCF) was caught cheating in an examination.
According to Jamaica Observer sources, the senior officer was seen with the pre-written notes on 'soft paper' during the test which was being conducted last Wednesday at the Police Academy in Twickenham Park in Spanish Town, St Catherine. Following on that discovery there are fears about the future of the unit, the Observer was told. The quest for further answers, however, has been snail paced.
National Security Minister Peter Bunting was said to be locked in a Cabinet meeting yesterday, but the Observer was told by an assistant "it is not a policy issue, it is more operational, check with the police commissioner".
Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington when contacted by the Observer was, however, unable to shed light.
"I couldn't comment on it; I'm not at work, and I haven't been briefed; speak to the head of the CCN (Constabulary Communications Network)," he said.
But efforts by the Observer to contact CCN head, Deputy Superintendent Steve Brown, proved futile. And attempts to contact Senior Superintendent Selvin Hay, head of the Anti-Corruption Branch -- under which the unit falls -- were also unsuccessful.
A National Security Ministry representative who spoke to the Observer advised that the commissioner was ideally placed to comment on the issue since it was operational. The individual also said the commissioner would have to be briefed on the issue at some point.
It was not immediately clear what disciplinary action, if any, would be taken against the policeman.
Only in May this year the JCF's Polygraph Unit was boosted with the injection of approximately $59 million (CDN$705,000). The money, donated by the Canadian Government, was to be used for training, acquiring equipment and upgrading work, with the objective of making the unit a centre of excellence for training in the use of polygraph applications in the Caribbean. It was not clear yesterday whether the situation will impact chances of further assistance from the Canadians.
The Polygraph Unit is manned by individuals who have received international polygraph certification courtesy of the Canadian Government. Construction of the unit was funded in part by the European Union, the Canadian High Commission and the British High Commission.