Police begin five-day protest, trainees could be put to work in stations
About 75 trainees from the Jamaica Police Academy are expected to be called out to work in stations across the Corporate Area as
rank and file members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) start a possible five-day protest.
The JCF members are taking action to press their demands for an improved wage offer from the Government.
Up to late yesterday, several stations in Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Catherine were grappling with absences due to 'sick-outs':
- 16 persons reported sick for the evening shift (6 p.m. - 8 a.m.) at the Spanish Town Police Station in St. Catherine
- No one reportedly turned up for evening duties at the Denham Town Police Station in Kingston
- One District Constable reportedly turned up for evening duties at the Bridgeport Police Station in St. Catherine
The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre has obtained a copy of what appears to be a log for the St Catherine South Police Division which shows, in red ink, 'sick' beside the names of several JCF members.
However, head of the division, Superintendent Terrence Sanko, said nothing "unusual" is taking place among his approximately 450 personnel.
"It's normal for humans to be sick from time to time and the police are no different", said Sanko.
Meanwhile, The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre also obtained a copy of a message that one police source says has been sent to members warning about a "hurricane which will make landfall at daybreak tomorrow [today]."
The police use code words to discuss their strategies and it's understood that a 'hurricane' means five days of sick leave.
'Silent night' is believed to refer to three-days sick leave.
Chairman of the Police Federation, Sergeant Raymond Wilson and others from the union's leadership reportedly met yesterday with Police Commissioner, Dr Carl Williams over reports of a strike.
The outcome of that meeting was not clear and Sergeant Wilson could not be reached.
In the meantime, the Jamaica Defence Force says it is always prepared to respond to emergencies although it has not received official notice of a police strike.
A five-year public sector wage freeze ended in March and the police union has rejected a government proposal to increase basic wages by five percent.
It has requested a 100 hundred percent increase.