Corporate Area Police Stations left understaffed
AS MEMBERS of the Jamaica Constabulary Force stayed away from work yesterday, pressing home their demand for improved wages, a number of police stations in the Corporate Area were reportedly left understaffed.
Rank-and-file members of the force started calling in sick late Monday night as their wage dispute with the Government dragged on.
At the Half-Way Tree Police Station in St Andrew, several policemen and women stayed off the job. Inside the station, operations progressed slowly as the reduced number of personnel tried to attend to members of the public, who were there to make reports.
A group of persons, who said they were there to make reports about an employment scam, had been at the station since 9 a.m. When The Gleaner arrived there sometime after 11 a.m., they reported that only a few of them had managed to make their reports.
While at the station, a senior policeman was overheard saying, "We have no staff to deal with reports." He also stated that members of the police training academy had also been used to help man the station.
Another senior policeman said at least three-quarters of the police were absent from the station.
Head of the St Andrew Central Police Division Senior Superintendent Fitz Bailey said that though there was a reduction in manpower, the station was not significantly affected. He explained that areas such as the lock-up and courts were covered.
Over at the Denham Town Police Station in Kingston, the scene was the same. The desk officer on duty said not many policemen and women turned up for work.
One woman came to report the death of her mother at a hospital but was told she had to wait before her report could be taken because of staffing issues.