Thu | May 23, 2019

ZOSO tearing cops' families apart - McBean - Prolonged absenteeism destroying households, says Police Federation

Published:Thursday | August 2, 2018 | 12:00 AMCarlene Davis/Gleaner Writer
Policemen carrying out searches in Central Village, St Catherine, on March 18 following the declaration of a state of public emergency in the St Catherine North Police Division. The Police Federation is complaining that prolonged assignment of police personnel on special operations is harming their domestic situation.

As the Government boasts of significant reduction in crime, stemming from the implementation of zones of special operations and states of public emergency, families of members of the security forces are being torn apart.

Chairman of the Police Federation Corporal Arleen McBean told The Gleaner recently that households of members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force are being destroyed due to prolonged absenteeism from the home.

"We have heard that it is causing disfunctionality in the home. They will come and say to you, 'I have not been home and this is the situation', I don't have any statistics, but persons would have verbalised this to us, and sometimes we seek counselling for them," McBean said.

The Police Federation head explained that while police-military operations were critical at this time, police officers are human beings, and as such, they, too, have a home to take care of.

"These persons now have to rearrange their family setting. If you have a child who used to stay at home, you have to pay additional money for a sitter or for a taxi to pick up the child because you want to ensure that your household is safe and secure while you are out there giving service to Jamaica," related McBean.


Be supportive


She is encouraging partners and parents of police officers involved in the special operations to continue to be supportive.

"I want to say to them to give the support to the police officers who are out there, and just ensure that you pray over your spouses and your children out there offering service," McBean pleaded.

She added that another area of concern were the "ridiculous long hours" the officers worked, noting that at any given time, an officer would work anywhere between 14 and 16 hours per day.

"While it is a rotation shift, what you will find is that the soldiers who work four hours will change team, while the constables are there carrying on hours upon hours. There is no change," said McBean. "Persons have complained that they are going 14-16 hours, [and] that is not humanly possible. It takes a toll on the body, on the mental capacity, and causes financial strain."

McBean is calling on the Government to pay over the stipend that was promised to the officers who are part of the special operations.

"No one has got anything. They have taken the police officers' names, rank, regulation number, TRN, and NIS number over and over, and there has been no payment," said McBean.