Police recruitment drive measures up to expectations
The islandwide Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) 2021 recruitment drive to beef up its number, which kicked off in Hanover last week, measured up to expectations, despite the initial health scare brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In an interview with The Gleaner at Rusea’s High School, where the Hanover recruitment drive took place, Sergeant Melrose Dixon, the officer in charge at the location, said she was pleased to see as many as 42 applicants showing up, which will continue across the JCF’s Area One in the upcoming months.
Within recent times, representatives of civil society have been raising questions as to whether or not the stated target of 1,000 new recruits by the end of March was possible. That number was agreed on in the consensus agreement on crime that the Holness administration signed with the Opposition and civil society groups six months ago.
“If all the personnel in the training and recruitment division across the island put hands and hearts together, then the target can be met,” said Dixon, citing the Hanover turnout as the reason for her optimism.
“We (Area One) are trying our very best. We are pushing it, working assiduously, and in Area One alone, we are planning to put in 500 (recruits) and you have the other areas two, three, four, and five to contribute,” added Dixon.
Dixon pointed out that within Area One, recruitment exams are done every week at its Falmouth headquarters in Trelawny, separate and apart from the monthly drives, which will be carried out in the four parishes that make up the area.
The JCF’s Area One consists of the parishes of Trelawny, St James, Hanover and Westmoreland.
The Hanover recruitment drive, although not elaborately advertised as in previous years, so as to keep the numbers in attendance limited, saw some 42 young people, 25 males, and 17 females, attending.
Dixon explained that the limited advertisement was to avoid overcrowding at the facility, especially with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. She said she was satisfied with the quality of persons who turned up.
“The pass rate was very good, and if we can get such a good pass rate at every recruitment drive, it will speak well for the intake numbers,” she said.
Dixon used the occasion to issue words of advice and encouragement to young people in the society, urging them to try their best to hold their heads high in their day-to-day activities.
“With what is happening around now, with the rise in crime, I would advise young people to stay focused, stay in school, do their work, stay clear of bad company, because it will always seem easier to do the wrong than to do right,” said Dixon. “Persevere, stay strong, and remember that the Jamaica Constabulary Force is a force for good that is always here with open arms, willing to accept the persons of good quality and moral standing to come and serve their country,” she emphasised.