THIRTY students pursuing the Bachelor of Science (BSc)in Applied Science majoring in Forensic Chemistry in the Faculty of Science and Sport, University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) will benefit from a six week Forensic Chemistry Work-Study Summer Programme in which they will be given the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills by engagement in crime scene investigations and other forensic science techniques.
The programme is a collaboration between UTech and the JCF and began on Monday, May 27. The programme was launched at a special ceremony held on Friday, May 24, 2013 at the UTech Papine, Campus.
Associate Professor and Dean, Faculty of Science and Sport, UTech, Dr Colin Gyles, in his remarks said that the historic collaboration underpins the university's thrust to be an agent of solving problems within the society. He noted that "the collaboration will assist the Jamaica Constabulary Force in solving crimes and also boost the university's major tenet of producing work ready graduates".
He noted that the students will be exposed to social and cultural elements of the society and that the partnership "marks a significant development in our country in terms of solving crime which is a major challenge to many of us".
Assistant Commissioner of Police, Devon Watkis endorsed the Work-Study Programme, stating that the opportunity will enable students to transfer what they have learnt in the classroom into a practical setting, which can only redound to the benefit of the JCF, Jamaica and enhance the future administration of the programme. He informed the gathering of students, lecturers and members of the JCF that he hopes the programme will also serve as a "springboard" for those graduates who would be co-opted into the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
Lecturer and programme director of the BSc in Applied Sciences, UTech, Dr Kerrie-Ann Bartley-Hynes, said that the collaboration with the JCF is a significant boost to UTech's Forensic Science programme which will serve to build educational and training capacities in forensic awareness and forensic science and will bolster UTech as the "centre of excellence in forensic science education and training in Jamaica and the Region".
She added that "the ultimate goal of the programme is to enhance the knowledge and skills of the academic communities and public and to put in place effective techniques and processes that will have a positive impact upon crime detection, resolution and prevention."
She informed the gathering that the students will be assigned to the Scene of Crimes Units islandwide where they will be exposed to real life crime scenes.
In addressing the students, Dr Bartley-Hynes asked that they prepare themselves to be challenged and inspired and further charged them to use the opportunity to employ the skills acquired at UTech to enable them to become a part of the solution to Jamaica's crime problem.
Associate vice-president, undergraduate studies, UTech, Dr Haldane Johnson, advised the students that "the experience will move them personally from the glamour as portrayed on the screen in a 60-minute TV show, to the reality on the ground which includes resource constraints, environmental and societal conditions and other challenges".