The Ministry of National Security on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with four tertiary institutions for the development of a certificate programme in the fundamentals of security science.
The programme, which will cost $28 million, will supply the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) with 400 potential recruits in a bid to improve the quality of its intake.
The four colleges that were signatory to the MOU are Moneague College, Montego Bay Community College, Hydel University College and the Catholic College of Mandeville.
“The signing of this MOU today formally establishes a historic and strategic partnership between these institutions, as we bring together two essential elements of any successful modern society: the creation of partnerships and the use of science and technology,” Minister Montague said at the ceremony.
He explained that the programme will provide a more cost-effective and convenient approach to recruiting, and is intended to provide not only a larger pool of candidates for recruitment, but a better- qualified one as well. Other than the JCF, holders of the security science certificate will also be eligible for employment in other government agencies and in the private security industry.
Montague stressed that the programme is not to be confused with an offer for employment.
“The programme is essentially an introduction to the fundamentals of law enforcement. Successful completion will not guarantee consideration for recruitment,” he said, adding that recruitment will be dependent on the candidate passing polygraph and medical tests and having a thorough background check done.
Each institution will educate 100 trainees, who will then be vetted and admitted to the National Police College of Jamaica to undertake a short training programme.
Chief executive officer of the Hydel University College Dr Hyacinth Bennett commended the minister for the unprecedented move.
“I think it signals a minister who is bold and innovative and is on a road that has not been trodden before. He is determined and resolute to curb this crime monster and has complete confidence in us as educators,” she said.
Head of the National Police College, Assistant Commissioner of Police Yvonne Martin-Daley thanked the minister for what she described as a game-changing move in partnering with the tertiary institutions.
“This is an audacious move by the minister, and I want to thank him for his hard work and commitment to building brand JCF.”
The course is slated to begin in August 2018, and will last for one semester. It is free of cost to participants.
The minister said the signing of the MOU fits into the ministry’s five-pillar Crime Reduction Strategy, with emphasis on effective policing.
Also Thursday, the minister highlighted the move to transform the National Police College of Jamaica to an accredited, degree-granting institution.
“We want to enhance the police force’s position of being a viable, long-term career option filled with educational opportunities. We intend to offer more opportunities for police officers to pursue bachelors and masters degrees because we must have the best and brightest serving in the force,” the minister stated.