Thu | Jan 27, 2022

Customise Smarter Cards for police

Published:Monday | July 27, 2015 | 3:02 PM


In light of the brutal murder of Woman Constable Crystal Thomas, head of the state-owned Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) Garnett Roper has urged police personnel to capitalise on free travel on the JUTC buses. Roper said all officers have to display their ID to the driver and all will be well.

I know the police would appreciate the move, but one major concern with that system is the displaying of their ID. So often I have seen police showing JUTC drivers while I collect my bus ticket. When I sit in the front seats or when the inspectors are checking tickets, the officers, sometimes, instead of showing their ID would tell the driver "Police". The driver then would verify by asking for ID.

What the JUTC should have done was to give police personnel Smarter Cards like what everyone else has. This would make it harder to detect that one is a policeman (or woman) to someone who is watching the transaction between the driver and the police passenger. The personalised Smarter Card would eliminate the issue of disclosed identity.

The JUTC, while not claiming bullet-proof protection, speaks of a form of panic button system associated with its buses that makes it less prone to be held up and robbed.