June 5, 2020 – As a critical first responder to the COVID-19 crisis, the Jamaica Constabulary Force strategically balanced enforcement with empathy, giving a powerful new meaning to being a Force for Good. Community partnership is a top priority for the Constabulary in its efforts to keep people safe, and this was further emphasized during the crisis as Police Officers across the island gave limitless service to reassure and protect.
This was made clear at a JCF Virtual Press Conference held on Thursday, June 4. Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson noted that “We have managed activities to ensure that we can cover the business of crime, public order and safety, and at the same time provide support to our communities that are in need.”
The Commissioner continued: “COVID-19 has added additional demands on us as the Police Force… and given us additional opportunities to engage our public and our communities.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police Clifford Blake, head of the Operations Branch, further explained how the police have stepped into the gap in a number of ways to uplift and give additional support to those most vulnerable, in-need and at-risk.
For instance, extensive support through the provision of care packages has been offered to the special needs community – a long-standing charitable focus for the JCF – as a result of partnerships with corporate Jamaica.
DCP Blake also noted that more than 9,000 care packages have been delivered to some of the neediest individuals across seven parishes as part of the food security programme under the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica’s COVID-19 Response Fund. This outreach is expected to continue in the coming weeks.
Attention has also been given to students who have been greatly impacted due to the closure of schools amidst COVID-19. With many not having adequate access to online learning – whether due to the lack of devices or access to the internet – the police have galvanised support to ensure students continue to receive lessons.
The Kingston Western Police Division instituted this proactive solution, having witnessed first-hand the challenges faced by many families in the area in adapting to the virtual classroom concept. Led by Detective Inspector Pilmar Powell, officers in the division ensured school resources were prepared and made available to students within the communities of Arnett Gardens, Denham Town, Hannah Town, Jones Town, Tivoli Gardens and Trench Town.
These and other initiatives have enabled citizens to better navigate these uncertain times, even as the Constabulary maintained its focus on crime and safety.
As Major General Anderson noted at the end of the Press Conference, Jamaica and the JCF are stronger together and the Constabulary will continue to uphold the rule of law, show respect for all and be a force for good in all its operations.