Sun | May 19, 2019

Letter of the Day | What determines promotion in the JCF?

Published:Monday | August 27, 2018 | 12:00 AM
File There has been a reduction in the number of persons enlisted in the Jamaica Constabulary Force since 2016.


The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has just completed the first round in a series of examinations for promotion from the rank of constable through to sergeant.

The talks over the years have been how hard it is to be promoted and this adds to the low morale the officers face, with increased work and a demotivating salary.

The Force has 11 ranks, starting at constable and ending at commissioner. It must be noted, though, that in the 151 years history of the JCF and 29 commissioners, only a handful of commissioners were constables.

Promotion comes through various ways, from the commissioner directly, by recommendations, and by successfully navigating the rigorous examination process.

On the contrary, officers are denied promotion due to behavioural issues (work conduct) and, as it is in everything, 'politics', which, in the scheme of things, could cause your rank to be lost in the file.

A check within the Force would reveal officers who have over two and three decades in one rank (especially constables). Some officers have found out, after diligent study, that passing the promotional exam does not guarantee automatic promotion, as the volume of applicants far exceed the vacancies available.




The JCF has moved away from the primitive days where big foot and body could get you in, to a time where applicants are decorated with academic achievements - from CSEC distinctions to BSc, LLB, PhD, etc.

This goes to show that we will always have a problem with attrition if officers have to wait indefinitely for the privilege of seeing the star or wear the crown on their shoulder.

Outsiders are capitalizing on the expertise of Jamaican officers by recruiting them to serve in top positions in their island, but locally the bright and experienced men and women of the JCF are left to gather dust in the ranks at the station.

The present commissioner, Major General Antony Anderson, albeit a top Jamaican military man, was not from the ranks or amongst the files of the JCF. Now let us see what he will use as the motivating factor for the members of the JCF in light of the grave promotion and salary demotivation.

Maxine Hylton