Supt Rosie McDonald-Barker remembers Grants Pen
Her location may have changed and she is no longer interfacing with members of the public everyday, but for Superintendent Rosalie McDonald-Barker, the memories of her tenure as head of the St Andrew North police division, which takes in the volatile community of Grants Pen Road still linger.
“Heading that police division could be considered as the most challenging period of my career in the police force. At times it was difficult, but if there was even a little fragment of peace in that community, the effort was worth it,” said Supt McDonald-Barker behind her desk, at her Elletson Road office last week when All Woman interviewed her.
The Superintendent, who was in charge of a division which included inner city communities such as Grants Pen Road, Cassava Piece and certain sections of Red Hills Road which also incorporated 100 Lane, now sits at the helm of the Motorised Patrol Division.
“Although I am no longer at Constant Spring, heading the Motorised Patrol Division presents a different kind of challenge for me. It gives me the opportunity to lend my support to other areas of the Police Force to better enable us to fight crime,” said Supt McDonald.
She has in no way forgotten her friends in the Grants Pen community as the walls of her office are decorated with a framed newspaper picture clipping of herself surrounded by children from the community and a citation written in Old English which she also received from the community.
“Although I am no longer there, I still support the community in whatever way I can.
I still attend football matches and some of the members even call to check up on me,” said Supt McDonald-Barker with a smile.
The police veteran whose career in the force spans almost 30 years, has been given a huge resposnibility since assuming her present position in July ’99. She has 327 members of staff under her command and has four departments within her divisions to oversee namely, Radio Car, Quick Response, Bike Patrol, Beat and Foot Patrol.
“We supply patrols to the Corporate Area which is divided in 31 zones and these zones fall within specific geographic division which also includes some sections of St Catherine. So you see, it’s a large area we have to cover and I have to ensure that it is properly done with the help of the senior members of my team,” explained Supt McDonald-Barker.
Her goals for the division this year, includes enhancing the response time to phone calls as well as offering quality service to members of the public in keeping with the ideals and mission statement of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
“Policing is by all means a stressful job, so I am constantly motivating my team members to uphold the integrity of the organisation,” she said.
She readily admits that there are some members of the force who are easily influenced and, therefore, succumb to temptation.
“Times are tough and we are living in harsh economic times, however I urge them to live within their means and make a budget. We all have to creep before we walk, that’s how nature planned it, not the other way around,” she noted.
Although the challenges for this Superintendent are new, she welcomes the change as her new role allows her to spend more time with her husband of eight years.