Letters to the Editor

The job of the police deserves more

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

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Dear Editor,

I write to express my sincerest gratitude for the members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) for dedicating themselves to the volume of work that an officer is tasked to undertake.The JCF members are charged with the responsibility to serve the public, protect them and their properties from criminals, and reassure citizens of this country that they they will expend all efforts to make Jamaica a safe place.

They should be commended for choosing such a field such as security to be given the mantle which hold such high level of responsibilities. They are often called illiterate and dunce, but the volume of information they have to know to graduate or promoted says otherwise.

Recently I was walking along a particularly lonely road at an unfortunate hour in here in Kingston when a police vehicle passed by me seemingly doing regular patrol. The driver stopped, enquired where I was going, and insisted on taking me there. I was truly amazed, and even to this day I am in awe, as I had never seen them in that light.

The following day I told every police officer I came in contact with that it is easier for a police to protect lives than to do an investigation.

I have started to look at police officers and their duties differently since then. To fulfil their motto of serving and protecting in Jamaica is a hero's responsibility. Police officers should be better compensated for the service they provide daily as that would ease, to some extent, the stress of the 'off duty' issues of life they must take care of for themselves and their family.

One would think to serve in the JCF is a walk in the park but that is far from the truth. Nowhere else in the world has a compensation package as small as in Jamaica bearing in mind the increased risk that Jamaica poses to security officers.

The statistics have shown that the annual attrition rate in the JCF is very high, which is due in part to the treatment and remuneration they receive in the high-stress environment in which they work with hardly anything to show. In other jurisdiction police officers are properly compensated.

Again, I salute the members of the JCF and charge the Government of the Jamaica to revisit the proposed increase.

Don-Marie Thompson


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