There are constant calls for the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to be given more resources and to upgrade their facilities but media personality Terri Karelle-Reid is of the view that the social aspect of policing must be given greater consideration.
“We are focused on the infrastructural part of policing but how does the social development element come into play? When we think about our police officers out on the road and the mistrust our citizens have of them— when we think of the relationship we have with the police we understand why morale is not very high. The police work tremendous hours and they are always on the battle lines,” Karelle-Reid said.
Karelle-Reid was speaking Thursday at the signing ceremony for six police stations receiving a grant from the European Union of more than $235 million to upgrade and expand their facilities. The ceremony was held at the Marriott Courtyard in Kingston.
“They will now have upgraded and expanded police stations which should boost their morale because their environment is better and they now have amenities which will make them feel more comfortable. So for them on a social level, they will now benefit,” she added.
She said that with larger police stations, maybe the JCF will be able to attract more police officers, which translates to greater safety for citizens.
‘Some of them right now are—Terri Karelle-Reid
way too small with may citizens afraid to be seen and afraid to be heard there.’
“We have to look at the social aspect in terms of what the expansion of these police stations means for the community. Some of them right now are way too small with may citizens afraid to be seen and afraid to be heard there. These new, expanded police stations, should help to build better trust between the police and residents of the communities. So it is not just about infrastructure but it is very much also about the social factor,” said Karelle-Reid.