Wed | Jun 20, 2018

New JCF coming - Drafting of modern police service law advanced, says Chang

Published:Wednesday | June 13, 2018 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell/Senior Staff Reporter
National Security Dr Horace Chang inspecting a recent passing-out parade for new members of the JCF.

The drafting of legislation to introduce a new police service is far advanced and the measure is slated for tabling in Parliament during the current legislative year.

National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang, who made the announcement in Gordon House yesterday, said that the proposed new law would be underpinned by the constitutional protection now afforded to the Police Service Commission.

Chang noted that throughout the years, members of the public have lost confidence in the Jamaica Constabulary Force for several reasons. He said that the Government was taking a holistic approach to transforming the police force, this year, to an efficient and effective service.

"We will be moving with deliberate effort to advance the reform of the JCF. This will not be a non-starter," said Chang.

"Reform will not only entail technological improvements or a simple name change, but establishing a robust account-ability framework, enhanced capacity building, culture change and improvements in the standards of service delivery," he added.

The national security minister conceded that legislative measures alone could not change how the police operated.

"We will be ramping up the implementation of anti-corruption activities within the police service. One corrupt policeman can define the entire organisation," he said.

Turning to the welfare of police officers, especially those injured in the line of duty, Chang indicated that it could not be business as usual.

"The truth is that the policeman's job is unique in that he or she swears to serve and protect, fully conscious that in so doing he or she is at risk of losing their life. We must, therefore, establish protocols for how injured police should be treated effectively and comprehensively," he said.

Chang argued that a protocol must be established with the Ministry of Health and the University Hospital of the West Indies to ensure that police personnel who were injured on the job receive urgent medical attention at health facilities.

edmond.campbell@gleanerjm.com