JCF now polygraphs all recruits

JCF now polygraphs all recruits

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

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THE Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has introduced polygraph screening for recruits as part of its strategy to prevent corrupt or tainted individuals from joining its ranks.

Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams told yesterday’s Jamaica Observer Press Club that there is high concern about corruption within the JCF. Statistics given by the police high command revealed that, in 2014, a total of 41 cops were arrested and charged with various crimes while 27 were arrested in 2015, and seven since the start of this year.

"If it’s one police officer, it is one too many, and I am concerned," Williams said.

The top cop said for too long "miscreants" have brought the force into disrepute and he is committed to "separating those people from the force".

"Everyone in the force who is corrupt, I think came in with, if not the habit, then certainly the tendency or so. We recruit them with it, and some of them grow to become senior officers, get exposed to situations and then manifest their intentions," he said.

Only last month a policeman was among 19 people arrested in major anti-lottery scam operations carried out by several units of the constabulary.

Williams said, a more robust screening of individuals has been done to combat this, and that this is a condition for recruitment. Some 326 individuals have been recruited in the latest batch and Williams has indicated that they will be subjected to screening.

"What we have been doing since this year, or maybe even since last year, we have been trying to ensure a more robust screening of these persons before they come into the force and bring us into disrepute. Those that are to come, every single one of them, must be polygraphed; everyone before he takes the oath," he said, adding that it is "much more effective".

"We did an experiment in the previous batch and some people failed, some people who had passed scrutiny before, they failed. It was found that some of them were involved in crime before. Some of them were habitual thieves; some of them were sexual predators, and so on. That’s like proof of concept as to how we are going to weed out the bad eggs and is going to make the force a cleaner organisation from the start," said Williams.

— Kimone Francis

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