Police to lobby for sustainable legal defence fund
The Jamaica Police Federation says it will be lobbying to have a sustainable legal defence fund for rank and file members of the force.
Chairman of the Federation, Sergeant Raymond Wilson, says a fund was set up following negotiations for the 2012-2015 contract period.
He says $20 million was placed in the fund as seed money, but it is now depleted.
He says the federation will be lobbying for a long-term solution when it begins its next wage and fringe benefits negotiations.
Sergeant Wilson says the Federation has had to pay legal fees for members from contributions to the Federation.
However, he argues that the government has a duty to provide legal assistance to members of the police force whenever they have legal matters which stem from the carrying out of their duties.
Meanwhile, the Federation says it’s hoping the attorneys, to be engaged by the government to represent cops being investigated by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM), will come from within the police force.
For years, members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force have complained about the cost of engaging private lawyers when they are called in by INDECOM.
On Tuesday, the National Security Minister, Robert Montague, said his ministry will be employing 19 attorneys who will, among other things, provide legal representation for police personnel in question and answer sessions involving INDECOM.