New-look police uniform will be blue – Anderson
More than a decade after it was recommended as part of a strategic review, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has confirmed that there will be a uniform change for all police personnel by the end of the financial year. Among the changes will be...
More than a decade after it was recommended as part of a strategic review, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has confirmed that there will be a uniform change for all police personnel by the end of the financial year.
Among the changes will be the disbanding of skirts as part of the uniform.
The new attire will comprise shirts, blouses, and trousers and will make it easier for personnel to wear body armour and body cameras. The gear will also be climate sensitive.
In confirming the reforms, Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson also dismissed social-media claims that the army-green gear worn by policeman Shaunjaye Mitchell was the new-look uniform.
“There was a recommendation in the strategic review that they need a uniform change. What was apparent when I came was that the candy-stripe [uniform] ... , it’s not really suitable for modern policing,” Anderson said in a Gleaner interview Wednesday.
“They had challenges wearing a body cam, how it moves and how easily you can move in it, how comfortable it is. I mean, you still starch that material. I can’t think of any force that is doing that nowadays … .”
Anderson, who made the comments on the margins of a $6-million handover of laptops, desktops, and tablets at Harman Barracks in Kingston, said the police were eager for the change in attire.
The computers were financed by the Universal Service Fund.
Asked about potential concerns from female religious conservatives in the force who may resist the wearing of pants, the commissioner said that individuals who enlisted in the constabulary agreed to conform with its policies.
“I don’t have Adventists or Pentecostal police. I have police officers,” said Anderson, insisting that he was not being dismissive of religious sensitivities.
The uniform reform had been put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Anderson said that the change was informed by rigorous research by a committee led by Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Blake. The committee was populated by members of the Police Officers’ Association and the Police Federation, among others.
Four design samples were reviewed.
Anderson said that the uniform design displayed on social media was one of the four presented, but it will not be the final choice. He declined to divulge which design was selected.
However, he said that the uniform will be blue.
“The blue is the direction we are going, and our SWAT teams will have a modification of this (the green uniform) ... . The committee was satisfied,” said the police chief.
He said that the SWAT team, which currently wears black, may have other uniform changes depending on terrain.
There are approximately 100 SWAT members.
“The uniform is really technology. We are looking at security features in the uniform that identify it as ours. We are looking at how quickly it dries if it gets wet, how much maintenance is needed on it, if it fades or doesn’t fade. All of this work has been done,” the commissioner disclosed.
Recently, 2,700 sets of body armour were acquired by the JCF.