More cops leaving the force - JCF steps up recruitment drive
The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) continued to lose more members than it attracted last year, even as the Government pumped more resources into curbing Jamaica's spiralling crime problem.
According to the latest Economic and Social Survey, in a year that saw the enactment of the Zones of Special Operations (ZOSO) Act, the acquisition of 96 more service vehicles, and the establishment and repairs to 27 police post, 497 cops left the already-short-handed JCF.
In the meantime, the constabulary enlisted only 335 persons (260 males), which represents a 47.9 per cent drop in the number of new members since 2016. Less persons left the JCF in 2017 than in 2016, according to the survey, however.
"The strength of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) as at December 31, 2017, was at 11,389 persons, which was 19.2 per cent below the established size versus 20.3 per cent in 2016," read the report released by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).
"The attrition was mainly due to resignation (63.8 per cent), retirement (29.2 per cent) and death 6.0 per cent," the report continued, after highlighting that last year saw the implementation of a pension scheme for district constables, the implementation of the DNA Registry, and the installation of 21 CCTV cameras in public spaces.
The survey revealed a shortage in all established ranks, except for superintendents. The highest shortage was among the assistant superintendents, with only 53 from 130 posts being occupied.
LEAVING FOR FAMILY REASONS
Last Thursday, head of the Kingston Central Police Division, Superintendent Robert Gordon, said he has seen a steady movement of police officers out of his division.
"When I do the interviews, most of them, over 80 per cent of the people leaving, said it was because of family commitments. Some of them have families who have been living overseas," said Gordon.
"One lady told me, 'Super, I love my job but my two daughters over there with them father and him can't raise two girls like a mother can'. She had to do what she had to do."
Superintendent Bobbette Morgan, head of the St Mary Police Division, said that parish has also been affected by the high resignation rate.
In the meantime, Assistant Superintendent Dahlia Garrick, who heads the police Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), said, "There has been a massive recruitment drive. We just graduated a batch from Harman Barracks, and another set is still in training at the Police Academy, as well as another 190 who will graduate from the University of the West Indies. So while some persons leave to take up other opportunities, we still continue to train others."