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Wednesday, 06 September 2017 15:26

Security Minister calls for promotion of cops | Says vacancies and funding available

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Prime Minister Andrew Holness met with Police Commissioner George Quallo and senior commanders of the Jamaica Constabulary Force yesterday (August 28), at the Office of the Prime Minister, to discuss expectations ahead of the implementation of the Zones of Special Operations. Prime Minister Andrew Holness met with Police Commissioner George Quallo and senior commanders of the Jamaica Constabulary Force yesterday (August 28), at the Office of the Prime Minister, to discuss expectations ahead of the implementation of the Zones of Special Operations. JIS File Photo

Minister of National Security Robert Montague is once again urging the Police Services Commission to promote the hardworking men and women of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) as vacancies and funding are available.

In a move to tackle the demotivation and demoralization faced by members of the JCF who work in strenuous conditions, the Minister said: “I am calling on the Police Services Commission, chaired by Professor Gordon Shirley, to promote deserving police men and women. If they are not deserving then do not promote them but a number of vacancies are available and this administration has the money to pay them.”

Citing the number of vacancies available for officers to be promoted by the Police Services Commission, the Minister said: “There are currently: 64 for Inspector, 85 for Assistant Superintendent, 14 for Deputy Superintendent, 11 for Superintendent, 10 for Senior Superintendent, two for Assistant Commissioner of Police and one for Deputy Commissioner of Police.

Since the past 17 months, there has been no broad scale promotion. Persons have sat exams three times and more plus have satisfied the requirements and cannot be promoted. Why? What is the reason?”

The Minister’s call comes amidst the longstanding issue of widespread discontentment among members of the JCF concerning promotions.

Minister Montague also directed his attention to the number of vacancies available for the promotion of Constables to Corporals and Corporals to Sergeants. This, he said, is the responsibility of the Commissioner of Police, George Quallo.

“I am calling on Commissioner Quallo to update and upgrade the promotions policy to make it more transparent, merit-based and easily understood. It is within the Commissioner’s remit to promote 152 Constables to Corporals and 46 Corporals to Sergeants. Promote them now or state why they are not being promoted,” the Minister charged.

While the JCF currently faces a high attrition rate of 500 cops per year, the Minister sought to establish a link between the lack of promotions and praedial larceny incidents across the island.

While addressing a group of farmers, he stated that it is because police officers feel disheartened that farmers sometimes have not been receiving robust support in getting rid of the thieves that plague them, the Minister said.

“This cannot continue. It is unfair, it is not right and something must be done. The Ministry is doing its part by moving to increase the number of recruits but the Police Services Commission and Commissioner must also facilitate the process of motivating the rank and file members. It is a shame that these men and women who put their lives on the line every day cannot reap the benefits of a promotion. It is demotivating and demoralizing and it must not continue,” Minister Montague said.

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