Fri | Feb 21, 2020

Short police applicants can apply to commissioner for waiver – Lindsay

Published:Saturday | January 25, 2020 | 12:05 AMCarlene Davis/Gleaner Writer
Mourecia Luton
Dane Grey
Scores of applicants turned out to the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s recruitment drive held at National Police College of Jamaica at Twickenham Park, St Catherine, last week Saturday.

Disappointment was etched on the faces of scores of recruits who showed up for the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) enlistment drive but were turned away last Saturday because they did not meet the height or qualifications requirements.

However, head of the JCF’s Corporate Communications Unit, Stephanie Lindsay, said as it relates to the height and weight criteria, if persons believe they have a case, they can write for a consideration for a waiver.

“They have an option to apply to the commissioner of police seeking a waiver. The only thing they will consider for the waiver is just the height and the weight; when it comes to the qualification standard, there is no waiver on that.

“As it relates to the City and Guilds for English language, they will accept City and Guilds, but what they said is that City and Guilds has four components, writing, reading, speaking and listening, so that makes it a complete test, so they say what they will find is that some persons will just have parts of it, like they have done just one or two components, so if you don’t have the CXC or the GCE English, then they take the City and Guilds for persons who have all the components. One thousand and thirty-nine persons sat the exam on Saturday, so they are still marking to see how many of those were successful,” said Lindsay.

In an effort to increase its complement to 18,000 members by 2024, the first recruitment drive of 2020 started at 8 a.m., at The National Police College of Jamaica at Twickenham Park in St Catherine. The JCF currently has approximately 12,000 members.

All applicants must have a minimum of four Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) subjects, which must include English language. Male applicants must be at least 5 feet 7 inches in height with a minimum weight of 135 pounds. For females, they must be at least five feet five inches, and weigh at least 125 pounds.

Last August, it was reported that the height and weight requirement were waived for a recruitment drive in western Jamaica. However, it was later revealed that this was a miscommunication.

Most of the young people with whom The Gleaner spoke were either unemployed or employed at a call centre.

Eighteen-year-old Mourecia Luton was among the group of persons who was not selected based on qualifications. She has three CSEC and one certification from City & Guilds.

“I want to be an engineer and to go to school, it’s going to take a lot of money. My family is not where they should be financially, so it would be like a stepping stone for me to supply my own self. I was thinking about being a soldier, but it taking a while, so I wanted to apply here and anyone that works out. Being a police or soldier, them give you the opportunity to go and study or them teach you themselves. One day me affi be a soldier, that is my dream to become an engineer in the army,” said Luton, who graduated from Dunoon Park Technical High School and lives in Kingston.

While disappointed with the rejection, Luton is confident that an opportunity will present itself so she can go back to school.

“Me see a lot of persons get turn down today. If them no short, or if them no have enough CXC, or if them no have enough documents, them turn them down.

“Better fi have a trade than fi sit down with you CXC because more while the trade can provide work fi you a you yard. So if you is a engineer, you can get a one car from your friend fi fix and you get a little money from that, if you is a nail technician or hairdresser ... It’s good to have a trade,” said Luton.

Twenty-year-old Dane Grey, with six subjects and standing at 5 feet 11 inches, was confident and optimistic that he would be getting a call back.

“I have always wanted to see the country being better, I want to serve and protect because too many persons are dying and things happening in this country.

“The job doesn’t scare me because at some point in life, if a your time a your time, and for persons saying police get less respect, is how you do your duty, the respect will come to you from others based on how you carry forward your work,” said Grey, who is currently employed at a call centre in Kingston.