Jamaica Constabulary Force disciplines almost 400 cops in 2010

Published: Monday | January 10, 2011 Comments 0

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) last year handled 397 disciplinary cases involving its members, but said 141 were allowed to re-enlist, although for shorter periods.

At the same time, Police Commissioner Owen Ellington says the number of disciplinary actions initiated by the force is a clear sign that it is serious about weeding out corrupt and unprofessional members.

The police, however, did not provide a comparative figure for the number of disciplinary cases it handled in 2009.

The list of police personnel facing disciplinary action who were allowed to re-enlist include three inspectors, 13 sergeants, 31 corporals and 94 constables.

Rank-and-file police personnel are usually contracted for a five-year period, but this can be reduced by the commissioner in disciplinary cases.

Deputy head of the Anti-Corruption Branch, Senior Superintendent Selvin Hay, explained that the cases against those allowed to re-enlist were not serious enough to warrant dismissal.

"So what the commissioner is saying is, give them a year to see if they are going to buckle up," Hay told The Gleaner yesterday.

The police said that arising from the 397 disciplinary cases, 82 policemen and women were refused re-enlistment in the JCF, while 15 are still waiting to hear if they will be allowed to re-enlist.

This list includes five sergeants, 17 corporals and 75 constables.

Nineteen others were not allowed to re-enlist after they were convicted of departmental charges.

Two of them were corporals, 12 were constables, one corporal and a constable from the Island Special Constabulary Force and three district constables.

Ellington said the good and professional policemen and women would be rewarded, but made it clear that those who continue to "sully" the name of the organisation would be targeted and removed.

"I will not tolerate acts of unprofessionalism or any corrupt policeman or woman, whatever their rank, in the police force," he warned.

The commissioner said there was a strategic alignment between the internal disciplinary actions and the improved operational results in the fight against crime.

"This is why I will continue to pursue those who would hurt and hamper this progress," he said, adding that the push to rid the force of undisciplined police personnel would continue this year.

The police statistics also show that 17 were convicted on criminal charges while 13 police personnel were retired in the public interest. Fourteen were demoted and 38 were reprimanded.

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