Commissioner promises boost to police Visual Identification Unit
POLICE Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson has promised to increase the manpower and resources at the small but critical Visual Identification Unit (VIU) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
The VIU conducts identification parades for the force and provides technical expertise to improve the quality of identifications in criminal investigations.
Addressing an internal award function at the VIU on Wednesday, Anderson applauded members of the unit for the work it has been doing in the 15 years since it was formed and promised further support.
“You invest where you get returns on your investments, and you have been giving me returns,” said Anderson to members of the unit, which enhances the quality of images and create images from descriptions, among other features to help identify suspects.
“I have sat in enough case conferences to see the contribution that this unit makes as one of those…smaller units [which are] a critical part in making a number of cases.
“When you look at some of the more recent, very complex cases, not much to start with, when you start to pull in the pieces, of course VIU is one…and how the collective creates a synergy in terms of the solution of the problem you are considering, that is beyond anybody’s doing as an individual,” added Anderson as he pointed to the work done by the VIU to help in the arrest of a suspect in the killing of eight-year-old Danielle Rowe.
Rowe, a student of Braeton Primary School in Portmore, St Catherine, was abducted from the institution last June and left for dead with her throat slashed on Roosevelt Avenue in St Andrew. She died at Bustamante Hospital for Children two days after the ordeal.
Using descriptions from members of the public, the VIU released a sketch of the suspect Kayodi Satchell, a dental assistant who police say was the intimate partner of Danielle’s father. She has since been arrested and charged.
“That was a significant part of it that you [the VIU] put out that composite地nd it was very helpful in solving that case, So congratulations on that. That’s a big one,” said Anderson as he pointed out that the use of technology to solve crimes is the direction that the force is headed in.
He told the meeting that the leadership of the JCF will be holding a retreat this month and one of the items on the agenda will be how to expand the resources of the VIU.
“It is much easier to equip and fund a smaller unit…than when you have a 1,000 people who want 10,000 things. You are a small unit, probably too small [and] I suspect people still have to move too far to access your servicess… so we have to build out the unit.
“I will give you a commitment not that we will get something to you,” said Anderson to applause.
He noted that the VIU would probably be facing challenges, like much of the rest of the JCF in terms of computers and other supplies and promised that the unit would see investments in keeping with the quality of its work.