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New Year's message - Ready to take on this year's challenges

Published:Tuesday | January 5, 2010 | 12:00 AM


We enter 2010 on a high note as, once again, policemen and women demonstrated their professionalism, steadfast and dedicated to duty, giving further credence and authority to our motto of serving, protecting and reassuring.

I offer my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to our members who, despite the inclement weather at the time and all the attendant bad conditions associated with the weather, responded promptly and proficiently in helping the victims of the American Airlines plane which crashed on Tuesday night, December 22.

We were one of the first official responders at the scene of the crash and it is a credit to our skill and fortitude that we were able to quickly secure the crash scene and even more important, we were able to transport injured persons to hospitals for treatment in swift time.

The work done by members on Tuesday night is validation of what we, as police officers, can achieve when we apply our training and when we commit our skills to proper policing. My profound thanks and my admiration to the men and women of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) who worked and performed beyond the call of duty on Tuesday night. We got it right and we can all be very proud.

Our duty

Having seen what we can achieve and the professionalism displayed, it now behoves us to continue on this path. The same level of skills and professionalism must be applied by every policeman and woman in our day-to-day policing activities. It does not matter if you are walking the beat, investigating a case, answering calls at 119, manning the desk at a station, in fact, no matter what policing duties you are assigned, it must be done expertly and capably, consistent with your training and preparation.

Recently, we had peaceful demonstrations led by the Opposition across the island. These demonstrations were well policed and I am pleased with how members responded. These demonstrations underscore that we, as a people, can protest and ventilate our feelings and frustrations in a peaceful way without disrupting the lives of others.

Good job

Kudos to the Opposition for the leadership it offered on the ground during the time of these peaceful demonstrations. It is my hope that, in the future, all demonstrations will be peaceful and without incident.

No doubt there will be challenges in 2010. But having seen over the last 30 years what we are capable of as a police organisation, and after having been in the chair of acting commissioner for the last month and a half, I am convinced and supremely confident that we can deal with the many situations that will confront us.

So, let's ring in the new year, let's spend time with our families, secure and confident in the knowledge that we, the members of the JCF, can perform professionally and that we can be true to our motto of serving, protecting and reassuring.

Acting Commissioner of Police

Owen Ellington