In the wake of a much publicised incident in St. Thomas during which a pregnant woman was shot dead by a policeman, the High Command and the Chaplaincy Unit are to put new measures in place to deal with staff stress.
The incident has had a negative effect on the Jamaica Constabulary Force, with several sections of society condemning the incident.
Commissioner Owen Ellington has addressed the morale of his team in the latest Police Force Orders.
The Commissioner noted that most members of the JCF are truly disturbed by the circumstances leading to the death of Kay-Ann Lamont. He also noted the JCF’s resolve to redouble efforts in order to ensure that there is no repeat of such an incident.
The Commissioner noted that while the JCF builds on its professionalism, he is placing increased prominence on the well-being of members.
According to the top cop, while some members are very experienced and resilient, policemen and women see and are called upon to do things that most other persons will never encounter.
He says some of the incidents members deal with can have very significant and long term consequences for them.
The Commissioner stressed that not only is it important that members are supported when they need assistance, but it is equally important to ensure that, the JCF does everything possible to ensure that members are fit, healthy and happy at work in order to better deliver the professional policing service the public expects.
Commissioner Ellington says he will therefore be meeting with the leadership of the Medical Services Branch and the Chaplaincy Unit to seek solutions on how they can better care for members.
He says in the interim, he has tasked all Divisional Commanders, all supervisors, and all the leadership of the organization to be attuned to any shift in the behavioural patterns of colleagues.
If any such changes occur, the commissioner says that information must be shared with those who can offer help.
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