MONTEGO BAY — Chairman of the Jamaica Police Federation Sergeant Raymond Wilson has warned that his association will not defend members of the constabulary who are involved in wrongdoing.
“The Police Federation is no safe haven for members who deliberately engage in acts of corruption or any illegal or inappropriate conduct,” said Wilson.
“It doesn’t mean that we are going to turn our backs and allow your rights to be trampled on because we know of situations that, when we investigate ourselves, we understand how people got involved.”
Wilson was speaking in Montego Bay on Friday at a graduation ceremony for 30 Jamaica Constabulary Force corporals from the police’s Area One – which comprises the parishes of Hanover, Westmoreland, St James and Trelawny – who had completed a four-week- Corporal’s Development Course.
He told the graduates that those who witness illegal, corrupt or inappropriate practices but do not take the appropriate actions are just as bad as those who are directly involved in them.
“You would have been derelict in upholding the laws of the land and, of course, the proper ethics of the organisation,” he stressed.
Wilson argued that the harsh economic conditions which have resulted in the constant erosion and deterioration of their salaries, was no justification for members of the JCF to be engaged in corrupt or illegal conduct.
“Corruption or illegal activity is not part of the slate of options in dealing with inherent needs of any member of the JCF. Your police federation was established to lobby for you in that regard, and we are committed to ensuring that those needs are satisfied by whatever needs that are in sync with the principles of negotiations,” he explained.
He urged the corporals to maintain a high level of decorum and become examples not only for their peers, but their seniors and juniors as well.
Meanwhile, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Devon Watkis, who also addressed the graduates, stressed that the hierarchy of the force would not tolerate corruption.
“You all should take with you to your various stations that we will not police a corrupt environment. We will not facilitate it, we will not look and pass it, and we will not on any occasion do anything that will compromise us to the extent that the force’s 2012/2013 Corruption and Ethics Policy comes into question,” warned ACP Watkis, who heads the Police Area One Division.
In recent months, a number of members of the JCF in the division have been arrested and charged by the Anti-Corruption Branch for breaches of the Corruption Act.
They include four who were held last month in connection with the escape of a prisoner from the Freeport lock-up in St. James in January. (Observer)