National Security Ministry Signs MOU with Colleges for Training Course

The Ministry of National Security today (March 22) signed a memorandum of understanding with four community colleges to provide a course in the fundamentals of security science.

The 15-week course, which is tailored for civilians aspiring towards a career in the security forces, will be offered at the Catholic College of Mandeville, Moneague College, Montego Bay Community College, and the Hydel University College.

Students will be introduced to core knowledge necessary to become a police officer and will focus on key areas such as communication, sociology, information technology, customer service, ethics, the Jamaican justice system, physical fitness and community engagement.

Speaking at the signing ceremony at the Ministry in New Kingston, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Robert Montague, said approximately $29 million has been earmarked for the undertaking.

He said the programme aims to expand training opportunity for young persons who wish to enter the security forces.

“We are actively recruiting youngsters. We have 3,000 spaces… for police officers, we have 2,000 spaces for persons to go into the army, 300 for persons in the correctional services and 40 spaces for immigration. It is nice to say we have the vacancies, but we must actively go after the persons who we want to join,” the Minister stated.

Mr. Montague said the institutions were strategically chosen to enable interested persons in close proximity to participate in the initiative.

“The colleges in the communities open their doors to persons who wish to enter into the security industry to give them the fundamentals of security,” he said, adding that this approach is used in countries such as Cuba and the United States of America.

Mr. Montague argued that this “game-changing” initiative will break new frontiers and ground for individuals and is consistent with the Ministry’s five-pillar strategy for crime prevention and citizen security.

The strategy includes a sure and swift justice process crime prevention through social development, situational prevention, effective policing, and reducing reoffending.

Participants will be provided with a certificate upon completing the programme, which will be jointly advertised by the Ministry and colleges.

“Once you satisfy the requirements of that community college and the programme, a background check in done, the necessary tests are administered, you enter into the programme, and once you are within (it), you must also sign an agreement with the Government, as the Ministry will be underwriting the cost of the programme,” Mr. Montague said.

He further advised that upon completion, the first cohort of approximately 400 students may have an opportunity to receive further training to join the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

The Minister added, however, that they would have to do polygraphs and medical examinations.

Acting Director, National Police College of Jamaica, Senior Superintendent of Police Yvonne Martin-Daley, said the course will assist in boosting the JCF’s complement of officers.

She added that “this is a further step by the JCF and the Ministry to work with academia and civil society to further professionalise the Force”.

President, Hydel University College, Hyacinth Bennett, said the innovative strategy will expand the numbers and qualities of the security forces.

“We are promising and committing that this investment, in the final analysis, will be worth it all,” she added.

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