JCF rejects report that police graduation in limbo

JCF rejects report that police graduation in limbo

BY ARTHUR HALL
Editor-at-Large
halla@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, February 06, 2020

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THE Police High Command has moved to allay fears of some recruits that their graduation has been extraordinarily delayed either because of cash constraints or bureaucratic bungling.

It has also rejected claims that two batches of recruits are in limbo without knowing when they will be allowed to graduate.

“The JCF (Jamaica Constabulary Force) possesses the necessary resources to adequately produce new and vibrant members who are ready to tackle the ever-changing landscape of law enforcement in 21st century Jamaica,” said the high command yesterday, in response to a letter writer to the Jamaica Observer.

The High Command also charged that once the letter writer was aware that they would be called back to technical training this weekend then he or she should also be aware that after the three weeks of field craft is done they would then graduate.

The letter writer had charged that recruits in the JCF batches 121 and 122, who enlisted on February 18 and March 18, 2019, respectively, have no idea when they would have their passing out ceremony and have been working on regular policing duties without being compensated at the level of a constable.

“I guess the persons in charge are waiting on the fiscal season to end and for budget to be read in order for them to graduate. My guess is that they have no money to allocate for the ceremony,” charged the letter writer whose name was withheld.

“When enlisted they were told that they would be doing four months basic training and four months in several divisions across the island, in addition to three weeks for graduation practice.

“Four months has been concluded of the basic training and they have been sent into divisions from July 2019 to date, so that's actually six months. And they don't know where they stand. They have been doing vigorous amount of work at the stations which they are assigned to,” added the letter writer.

He further charged that the recruits are long overdue to graduate and are struggling with many living away from their families.

“They need their full salary and am wondering if the Government has run out of budget to pay [them],” charged the letter writer who alleged that the recruits are now going back to the police training school in Twickenham Park, St Catherine, to prepare for field craft and where they will be housed in tents for six weeks.

But the high command said there is no truth to the assertion, or suggestion, that resource constraints or limitations of the fiscal policy cycle are impacting the training of recruits.

“These batches [121 and 122] were initially designated to be passed out in December of 2019. They were trained at the staff college for an initial period of four months, after which they are sent to the training division for a four-month period of training in the live environment. It is after this period which they would be graduated or 'passed out'.

“However, due to the realities of violence and crime facing the country, coupled with the challenges to law and order in our main urban centres, the JCF and – more importantly – the nation needed them to remain deployed. Their continued deployment carried over into the new year as the conditions on the ground remained largely the same,” said the high command.

The leadership of the JCF noted that during the Yuletide season there is an increased demand for policing services and, as such, all services deemed 'non-essential' are scaled down so as to boost police presence on the streets.

“This resulted in training being paused during the Christmas period, as members of the training staff were deployed to increase police presence in public spaces. This carried over into the second week of January 2020,” said the high command.

According to the high command, there was communication with the recruits during that time and eventually thy were told to report to the staff college for further tactical training this weekend.

“It is neither our practice, nor our intention to discuss the efficacy of our training methods in the public domain, but it is imperative that we prepare our newest recruits for the continuous changes in the wider environment of law enforcement.

“The JCF has taken all steps to ensure that during this period of tactical training, all sanitary necessities have been taken into consideration in the best interest of the recruits. Recruits need not speculate about the sanitary quality of training conditions — to the point of frustration — without even being exposed to them,” said the JCF leadership.


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