Federation execs are normal JCF members — McBean

Federation execs are normal JCF members — McBean

Recently elected chairman of the Jamaica Police Federation (JPF), Corporal Arlene McBean has slammed claims that federation executives were “not really a part of the force”.

She maintained that although the executive’s main duty was advocacy, it was still a part of the force.

“Although we are not out there in the field, we are out there giving moral support to officers; if there’s something the management of the police force needs to know, we are there,” she said, adding that the federation also investigates matters if the need arises.

She said too that it was a norm for the JPF to make crime strategy recommendations to the commissioner of police at its monthly meeting.

“We cannot move from our main role of advocacy but we have inserted our take on crime where necessary,” she said while speaking at the Jamaica Observer‘s Press Club on Thursday.

She added that the federation also tackles crime by addressing personnel before they go out into a public space.

“We remind them of the policies of the JCF as it relates to human rights and what is expected of them when they interact with the public,” she said.

She said that it was important to ensure that police personnel were comfortable in their roles and pointed out that some were working in “deplorable” conditions.

McBean said that despite claims by the Government those police stations across the island have been renovated, law enforcers were still using “ancient type of restroom facilities”.

“We intend to carry out an audit and look at the structure of police stations across Jamaica and make submissions to the Ministry of National Security, and hope that something can be done,” she said.

McBean was selected by the executive body of the federation on May 17 at its annual conference at moon Palace Jamaica Grande Resort in St Ann.

She is the first woman member of the force to assume the position of chairman of the JPF in its 75-year history.

McBean said that the JPF — which is an independent unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force — was established in 1944 and was created by the provision of Sub-Section 1 of Section 67-72 of the Jamaica Constabulary Force Act.

The Act outlines that: “For the purpose of enabling the sub-officers and constables of the force to consider and bring to the notice at the commissioner of police and minister of national security all matters affecting their general welfare and efficiency, there shall be established in accordance with the Second Schedule an organisation to be called the Police Federation which shall act through branch boards, central conferences and a central committee as provided in that Schedule.”

Information from the JPF’s website revealed that in 2017 there were six inspectors, 144 sergeants, 192 corporals and 101 constables who were members of the police federation.

The federation represents the lawmen in pay negotiations, and regulations related to training, promotion and discipline.

McBean likened the branches of the executive body of the federation to that of the State, which has legislative, judiciary and legislative arms.

“We also have three arms, which include the branch board that incorporates the delegates, the central committee and the Joint Central Conferences, which is the largest decision-making body,” she said.

She explained that two delegates from all ranks of the police force – including inspectors, sergeants, corporals and constables are nominated annually to make up the Central Committee.

“Once they go through the nomination process, each rank will choose who they deem fit to lead on their behalf,” but the inspectors nominations are slightly different as “it’s not a part of the general Joint Central Conferences because their selection process takes place beforehand.”

She said that six inspectors are nominated and the nominees will further select two of them to represent the category on the committee.

Essentially, an eight-man central committee heads the federation and includes the chairman, general secretary, director of research and documentation, director of training and development, director of legal affairs, director of public relations and projects, director of healthy lifestyle and gender affairs and director of welfare.

She pointed out that even a constable could assume the position of chairman for the federation, and pointed out that Senior Superintendent, Glenford Hudson was now the first to do so.

McBean noted that she first started out in the secretariat of the federation and afterwards served briefly as a corporal executive on the central committee.

She said she “was encouraged by many pioneers who are still serving at the commissioning rank, especially by the late Dayton Henry, to apply to an advertisement for the position of corporal executive on the central committee,” and was successful. However, she did not seek re-election.

She said that in her 19-year career she has had no regrets of serving in the JCF or being a part of the federation.