THE Government will be moving with deliberate effort to advance reform of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
Making his contribution to the 2018/19 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang said the reform will not only entail technological improvements or a simple name change, but will be about establishing a robust accountability framework, enhanced capacity building, culture change and improvement in the standards of service delivery.
“We are far advanced with drafting of the legislation to govern the new police service as well as an effective oversight mechanism for policing functions. The legislation is scheduled for tabling in Parliament this legislative year,” Dr Chang said.
“As the new law will be underpinned by the constitutional protection now afforded to the Police Service Commission, we expect broad bipartisan support as we work together to realise this goal, which is a national imperative,” he added.
Dr Chang noted that legislation alone will not change how the police operate, adding that the Government will be ramping up the implementation of anti-corruption activities within the police service.
“One corrupt policeman can define the entire organisation. It is, therefore, incumbent on the new commissioner of police to ensure that no effort is spared with respect to weeding the force of undesirables,” he said.
Meanwhile, the minister said efforts will be made to ensure that there are proper and effective systems in place to support the police.
He noted that the JCF is a huge organisation with many facilities islandwide and thousands of vehicles in its fleet.
“A police station cannot be in need of simple resources such as chairs and it takes upwards of six months… to be provided. We must have structured and accountable systems,” Dr Chang said.
He added that the commissioner of police and the permanent secretary in the ministry have been charged with the responsibility to introduce these proper systems and procedures.
This, he said, will allow for efficient functioning of the police service, for example, the introduction of Enterprise Help Desk and other applications.