Sun | Jan 21, 2018

FULL TEXT: Saying goodbye often the hardest task, outgoing commish tells cops

Published:Friday | December 30, 2016 | 5:47 PM
In this 2015 photo, Police Commissioner Carl Williams arrives at the Denham Town Police Station following the murder of a cop, the second in one week.

Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams has bid goodbye to the men and women of the Jamaica Constabulary Force telling them, saying goodbye is often the hardest task.

Commissioner Williams will go on retirement on January 6, 2017.

In the Jamaica Constabulary Force orders published today, Williams lamented the problem of crime, but urged members to remain committed and focused for 2017.

See full text below:

Saying goodbye is often the hardest task that one will ever undertake. However, it is often a necessary in moving forward, claiming new experiences, reaching new horizons and indeed transcending boundaries.

So, as we bid farewell to 2016, we do so with mixed emotions. The year presented us with monumental challenges to our sworn mandate to serve, protect and reassure the citizens of Jamaica.

However, in light of our battles, we continue to be brave and unrelenting against forces that sought to destroy law and order in the country. We have seized over 660 illegal firearms, including several rifles and shotguns, and 8,970 rounds of ammunition. We apprehended over 650 persons for murder and we continued to take the fight to those who tried to tarnish the image of our nation through wanton violence.

Despite these efforts, we recorded higher than anticipated levels of murder (more than 1,300), we should not be disheartened. We know well that had it not been for the valiant efforts of our members in St. Catherine North, Kingston Western and many other divisions across Jamaica, the figure might have been much higher. I want to thank every member of the JCF for your continued service despite the hardships we have faced throughout the year.

I also want to recognise and thank the members who have gone beyond the call of duty by involving themselves in community activities with a view to foster peace and harmony and prevent crime. It is now commonplace for members to finish their shifts and then go back in the communities to participate in initiatives geared at community development and social intervention. I am greeted daily with anecdotes of policemen and women who have gone into the communities and continue to take money out of their own pockets to send children to school, help citizens to find jobs and host seminars and workshops in the communities.

I salute these remarkable change agents and I renew the call for more social intervention initiatives as we seek to re-socialise our citizens.

One of the many ways that we must re-socialise our citizens is with effective conflict resolution techniques to combat certain issues, which have become prevalent in the society. Domestic violence, as one of these issues, has reared its ugly head in an even more virulent manner.

Matters that could have been addressed by counsellors have ended up in deadly confrontations. As an Organisation we had to respond to this by hosting several domestic violence intervention workshops in a bid to equip our members with the necessary skills to properly counteract the upsurge of domestic violence related crimes.

The initiative will continue into 2017 and will be modified in the training program for our recruits. The illegal firearms, gang-related murders, the guns-for-drugs trade, domestic violence and lottery scamming certainly presented the most significant challenges to our safety and security.

We continue to tackle these challenges and the brave and dedicated members of this Organisation continue to arrest the perpetrators of these crimes and ensure that they are brought before the courts.

Recruitment and in-service training have also been focal points for us during 2016 and will continue in 2017. In building capacity in training, we will be afforded greater numbers to respond to the immediate and future manpower needs in all divisions suffering from what is now an unprecedented of attrition.

The recruitment and screening processes have also been strengthened to raise the calibre of new members and to continue the process of renewal in the force in terms of the values we expect our members to have.

As the New Year dawns I will be saying goodbye but I urge you hold the flag of the JCF aloft and continue to be faithful to your oath of office.

You will be called upon to perform your duties in under adverse conditions but you should always be steadfast, sensitive of the improvements that you are making in the lives of ordinary Jamaicans.

The need for ingenuity, social intervention and continued innovation is therefore not in abstract concepts but should be fully embraced to achieve greater success in areas where criminal masterminds pose formidable challenges to us. Achieving this will not be possible without our continued commitment to improving public safety, confidence and trust, through the prevention and reduction of all serious, violent and organised crimes. It is our duty to provide a safe and healthy environment where our law-abiding citizens can live and raise families. In 2017, I urge you to work even harder, build more relationships with members of the communities and share information on best practises internally as we will achieve the success that we have envisioned.

And where your duties lead you, as of necessity, to confront violence with violence, always be mindful of the human rights of all. Be mindful also, that while you carry out extraordinary functions, you are in fact humans. As such, you should remember to look after yourselves. Health is wealth and as such our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being must be trifled with. I urge you to continue to eat well, exercise your minds and bodies, and become spiritually tuned — even as you take care of the safety, security and welfare of others as police officers.

I thank you once again for all your hard work in 2016. May God bless you and your family as you approach 2017 with a positive outlook knowing that your goals can and will be achieved. So continue to ensure a brighter future for our children and this Jamaica Land we


Carl Williams