Hierarchy not victimising 'sick' cops, says Blake
The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) hierarchy yesterday said that its aim was not to victimise any of its members when it requested that divisional commanders submit the names of all cops who reported sick between December 22 and 28.
A letter from the Office of the Commissioner outlined that station commanders were responsible for the accurate completion of a matrix outlining the rank and number of officers, the days they reported sick, and the date on which an application for sick leave was submitted.
The information was to be emailed to the assistant commissioner of police, but up to late yesterday afternoon, it was not clear whether that instruction had been followed as the Police Federation, which represents rank and file members, called the move one of victimisation.
Report to federation
Executive member of the federation Arleen McBean, in a release, implored cops who reported sick to contact the organisation.
"The Central Executive Committee of the Police Federation implores all rank and file members who reported sick and are now allegedly targeted or victimised to immediately make an official report to the Office of the Police Federation," read the release.
"All divisional representatives, kindly acknowledge receipt of this message and verify same by contacting 822-8934/770-4778," it added.
Yesterday, however, Deputy Commissioner of Police Clifford Blake said that the request was not aimed at punishing the cops.
"It is not an attempt to victimise anyone. It is standard procedure in the JCF to compile a record every month of members who were out sick or for other reasons," offered Blake, who is in charge of the JCF strategic operations.
Thousands of police officers called in sick late last month in protests over unfavourable wage negotiations with the Government.
Divisions across the island reported extremely low manpower during the Christmas holidays, leading to fears about customer safety during the busy Yuletide season.
As reports surfaced, National Security Minister Robert Montague urged the cops not to do so, while the United States Embassy in Kingston issued an advisory to Americans in the island to exercise caution while visiting shopping areas.