More police personnel earning degrees
The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is reporting a sharp increase in the number of its members now having tertiary training.
Figures compiled by the Research, Planning, and Legal Services Branch of the force show that in the past 10 years, the acquisition of tertiary education by JCF personnel has grown exponentially.
According to the data, of the 314 gazette officers, 148, or 47 per cent, possess degrees ranging from a bachelor's to a master's.
At the same time, 105, or 21 per cent, of the 479 inspectors now in the force possess similar qualifications.
In the lower ranks, 465, or five per cent, of the 8,612 constables, corporals, and sergeants also have university degrees.
The force also has several members with associate degrees, diplomas, and professional certificates, with many others at various stages of their tertiary training.
"Education is the driving force of all progressive organisations," said Assistant Commissioner Norman Haywood who heads the Research, Planning and Legal Services Branch
"The JCF through its transformation programme has been consistent in its quest to improve the educational qualification of existing members and to recruit persons with the capacity to learn and develop professionally through dedication and hard work," added Haywood.
"Prior to the reform and modernisation programme tertiary education was limited within the organisation with only a few persons across ranks possessing Bachelors or Masters degrees," noted Haywood.
He argued that the added skill set and injection of new and innovative ideas have improved the service offered by the police.
"The JCF now possesses a diversity of professionals who are qualified academically and otherwise to carry out policing in the 21st century.
"The strides that have been made in this regard have without a doubt improved the image of the organisation therefore promoting brand JCF," declared Haywood.
Road fatalities pass 300
A determined and sustained campaign by the the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) to keep road fatalities to below 240 this year has failed as road users continue to not exercise due care.
Up to yesterday, the NRSC was reporting 303 road fatalities.
This represents an 18 per cent increase compared to the corresponding period last year when 257 road fatalities were recorded.
According to Lucien Jones, vice-chairman of the NRSC, a number of factors have contributed to the increase.
"The police have stated that there is an increasing trend of drivers who are distracted. They are not keeping to the left and because of that, there have been a number of head-on collisions. We are not sure what is quite causing this," said Jones.
He noted that pedestrian and motorcycle fatalities have also increased since last year.
Going in to 2014, Jones stated that motorists need to start taking responsibility for their own lives and others around them.
He said a stronger police presence is also required, but this can only be done if the police are equipped with more motorcycles and cars.
Green Island Post Office work to begin Jan
There are better days ahead for the residents of Green Island, Hanover, as it concerns the post office in the community.
According to Western Hanover Member of Parliament Ian Hayles, funds have been approved through the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme, with work to be carried out under the auspices of the National Works Agency.
Work is scheduled to begin in January.
"Approximately $2.7 million has been granted for the completion of the Green Island Post Office," said Hayles.
"I would say it would take around six weeks for completion after the start date."
He continued, "I am appealing to the people of Green Island, however, to be a little bit more patient with us as all the funds were granted before and was sent to the Hanover Parish Council but for whatever reason after the estimates were calculated the funds seemed to be, for a better word here, the funds were not able to complete the project.
Green Island residents now pick up their mail in Lucea which has caused many pensioners as well as other residents to complain about the great distance and cost to travel.
Water returns to Mandeville
The Jamaica Public Service Company yesterday fixed the electricity problem which affected the National Water Commission's system at Pepper in St Elizabeth. The problem had resulted in water problems in Mandeville on Saturday into early Sunday morning.
Norman Grindley / Chief PhotographerSome of the 214 cops who graduated at Jamaica Police Academy in Twickenham Park, St Catherine recently.