District constables play crucial role
ROY GREEN, email@example.com
With our new Minister of National Security Robert Montague taking the initiative to curb crime, which has plagued this country for four decades, by reverting to community policing, many of us must have a feeling of hope and, perhaps, joy that Jamaica may once again return to a state of law and order.
With this in mind, I would like to enlighten Jamaicans about the vanguards who will be leading this community-based policing initiative: the district constables.
Many people often misunderstand, or simply don't know, who is a district constable and what their role is.
WHO IS A DISTRICT CONSTABLE?
The Jamaica Rural Police Force, popularly known as the district constables, is an auxiliary to the Jamaica Constabulary Force. District constables are appointed by the commissioner of police and are attached to a particular police station. Their powers and authority, like the regular police, extend to all parts of the island.
Appointments of district constables are published in the Jamaica Gazette and Force Orders. Men and women can be appointed as district constables.
The district constable is concerned with community patrolling and policing in order to minimise the incidence of crime. District constables normally reside in the community that forms part of their area of responsibility.
Since mid-2009, members of the rural police force have been assigned uniforms. They are dressed in light blue blouse (female) and light blue shirt (male) with Jamaica Constabulary District Constable crest, and dark-blue skirt (female) and dark blue pants (male).
Members of the Jamaica Rural Police Force undergo four to six weeks of basic training at the Jamaica Police Academy in Twickenham Park, Spanish Town, St Catherine.
District constables' basic training mainly consists of:
• Law and police duties
• Community policing
• Use and care of firearms
• Defence tactics and drill.