Bamboo Police Station in St. Ann walked away as the champion of the inaugural Police (Civilian Oversight) Authority (PCOA) ‘Transforming Our Police Service’ (TOPS) Competition.
Bamboo topped 31 police stations in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Area 2 – St. Mary, St. Ann and Portland – pilot initiative that began on September 16 and ended October 31.
The stations were judged on their compliance with specific JCF standard operating procedures, such as Records Management, Station Administration, Station Facility, Utilities Conservation and Customer Service.
During the TOPS Competition Awards Ceremony, held at the Couples San Souci in St. Ann on Wednesday (Nov. 27), Bamboo Police Station was awarded the first- place trophy and a cheque valued at $100,000.
Sub-Officer in charge of Bamboo Police Station, Sergeant Patricia Brown, told JIS News that the competition was a worthwhile initiative, as it should help to improve police operations and accountability as well as boost staff morale.
“I am feeling elated, I am overwhelmed, and I don’t have enough words to express about winning this award,” said Sergeant Brown, who has been at the station for the past three months, along with 17 other staff members.
The Oracabessa Police Station, in St. Mary won the TOPS Prisoners in Custody Award, while the Gayle Police Station was the TOPS Station in St. Mary Division winner, and San San Station was the TOPS Station in the Portland Division champion.
For her part, PCOA Chief Executive Officer, Otarah Byfield-Nugent, said that the competition aimed to raise the level of compliance, standards and procedures among members of the JCF.
“We understand that you work under very stressful conditions, sometimes under very undesirable conditions, but we want to show you that we recognise the value of your service, and we are hoping that by creating a competitive element or environment, you will be encouraged to perform,” Byfield-Nugent told the JCF members.
She also indicated that the initiative highlighted the importance of the internal or back-office process at police stations.
“The back-office process is very critical. It will impact your credibility to the public, your legitimacy to the public and it will impact the way the public sees you, because if you are not doing what you are supposed to do and there is no accountability, then how do you think the public is going to perceive your service and the value of your service?” Byfield-Nugent said.
Meanwhile, Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson, in a message delivered by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Clinton Laing, commended the PCOA on the initiative that examines the JCF’s valued service and standards.
“It is our hope that this pilot initiative is the beginning of greater partnerships for the future,” he said.