With the certification of 35 new Municipal Police Officers on May 31, 2013 the capacity of Local Authorities to enforce municipal laws and regulations, maintain law and order in and around town centres, improve revenue generation and manage disaster relief efforts have increased.
The graduates of the eleventh (11th) training session since the re-establishment of the municipal police training programme in 2008 were reminded of the important role they play by guest speaker Mr Robert Rainford, Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Local Government & Community Development. “Your duties are important to the success of your Local Authority and your parish” he stated adding that the functions outlined above impact the live and development of the community.
PS Rainford told the graduates that they were an important part of the local government system and that in performing their functions effectively they would be contributing to the improvement of community governance. “It is only by everyone playing their part, participating in the governance of their communities that we can achieve true and lasting growth” he said.
Mr Rainford implored the graduates to be steadfast in their duties, ignore the aggression of the persons they will encounter and resist the temptation to look the other way. He also reminded them that graduation does not signal the end of learning and there is much to be learnt on the job, “..take what you have learnt apply it in your daily lives, apply your innate intelligence when executing your duties and serve with humility not brute force”.
Candidates for the Municipal Police training programme, conducted in collaboration with the Jamaica Constabulary Force at the JCF training college, are recommended by the local authorities and deployed to those jurisdictions once their training is completed. Municipal police officers are trained over a four-six weeks period in areas such as
· Roles and Responsibilities of the Local Authority
· Code of Ethics
· Building Act and Compliance
· Property Tax Act and Compliance
· National Solid Waste Management (NSWMA) and Compliance
· Powers of Arrest and Safe Encounter
· Statement Writing
· Conflict Management
· Stress Management
Among other topics.