Sharp dip in fatal shootings by the police, cop killings this year

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

Thursday, November 28, 2019

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Senior Superintendent of Police Stephanie Lindsay says there are clear signs of an improvement in the use of force and personal safety measures being implemented by the cops, with statistics showing that fatal shooting by the police are down almost 40 per cent, when compared to the corresponding period last year, and only one officer killed in the line of duty in the past 12 months.

Speaking with the Jamaica Observer following Tuesday's luncheon hosted by Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson for children of fallen cops, Lindsay noted that of the 43 members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to have died last year, only Constable Deon Thomas died in the line of duty.

“The Jamaica Constabulary Force is headed in the right direction as we know in the past, at this time of the year, we would be counting in the high teens the number of our members killed in the line of duty,” said Lindsay, who noted that the police regularly encounter heavily armed criminals who are not afraid to take them on.

“It is no coincidence that we are seeing a reduction in the number of our members killed and the number of fatal shootings by our members [as] it is a result of the transformation that is going on in the JCF.

“This speaks to improvements in our officer safety training and our use of force,” added Lindsay as she pointed to the latest official crime figures which showed 72 fatal shootings by the police from January 1 to November 23 of this year. This is a sharp decline from the 118 recorded over the same period last year and the 143 recorded in 2017.

, “... So our ability to encounter risky situations has improved, resulting in significantly fewer lives lost on the civilian side, as well as on the police side. We also want to credit that to better equipment that is available to our police officers who are on the operational front-line, coupled with improved tactical training,” said Lindsay.

She argued that the decrease is fatal clashes between the police and criminals can also be linked to an increased use of technology by members of the JCF.

“These ensure that our members can be more tactical and clinical in their approach even when it comes to high risk and dangerous encounters with criminals armed with high-powered weapons,” declared Lindsay, who is now based at the Community Safety and Security Branch.

According to Lindsay, the police commissioner is on a drive to have the JCF strengthen its systems as part of creating a force that is seen as a force for good as its members continue to obey the rule of law while showing respect for everyone they encounter.


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