‘You can be the police commissioner,’ Miss Kitty tells female cops

ATTORNEY-AT-LAW and talk show host, Khadine “Miss Kitty” Hylton has implored female cops not to shirk from pursuing top jobs in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

“The women of the JCF have to rise up and take their place without fear and favour,” Hylton told a JN Group-sponsored hybrid JCF Women’s Conference recently.

“You do not need to shrink or ‘small-up yourself’ to suit or spare anybody’s ego. You are just as good as the men, and some may argue that you are even better, because you are woman,” added Hylton.

In delivering the keynote address at the conference Hylton underscored that she was not encouraging rivalry among the sexes in the JCF, but instead was making the point that women are qualified, and can qualify, to lead the JCF to the next frontier.

“It is 2021, and I look forward to the day when I will have a woman police commissioner,” she said after listing the names of women who have risen locally and internationally to positions of leadership.

The popular media figure also made a case for better pay for women of the JCF and recognition from their peers.

“I also want the [Jamaica Police] Federation and the powers that be to recognise the contribution of women to the force and, by extension, Jamaica,” said Hylton.

She noted that women in the JCF are expected to honour their social responsibilities while performing their tasks equally as law enforcers, even when faced with monthly biological pressures.

“In the same way I encourage you all to rise up, I also want the salaries and benefits of the women in the JCF to rise up. It takes cash to care, and though monetary incentives are not the only way to convey gratitude, it is one our police women will not mind at all,” declared Hylton as she reminded the women of their mandate to serve with professionalism and dignity, as well as to lead by example.

“It is important that every case and each citizen is treated with respect and care, no matter the stratum of society from which they come,” she declared.

Also addressing the women of the JCF, Sandra Jones, manager of public sector engagement at JN Bank, urged them to take care of themselves so that they can look after others and the State.

“These are tough times for the ladies of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and we remind you that it is important for you to stay in touch with your mental and emotional needs, because you need to stay strong. Feed yourselves and build up your strength. Be women first and then police officers and personnel,” said Jones.

Referencing advice from leading psychiatrist, Professor Wendel Abel during a forum hosted by the JN Group recently, Jones provided the female cops with tips on self-care.

“Prevent burnout: It’s difficult in your jobs but you must recognise that you are human beings with limits. You’re juggling many responsibilities. Pause and recalibrate.

“Take time for positive affirmation: Speak well about yourself to yourself. Remind yourself constantly that you are doing your best and that you won’t do everything perfectly. These are stressful times,” added Jones.

She also urged the female cops to talk through their problems and to seek counselling if necessary, reminding them that, “no woman is an island”.

“Stay calm amid the chaos: More than anyone else, as police officers you need to keep your cool but you’re still human beings with emotions. However, don’t simply allow those emotions to fester. Come to terms with them by naming them, claiming them, and then taming them,” Jones urged.

“Finally women, we want you to survive because your families need you, we need you, and your country needs you. Therefore, to achieve your best potential you need to be alive in every sense of the word: physically, psychologically, emotionally and financially.

“It is my hope that these small bits of advice will ‘help you to find a way’ to navigate the continued challenges which we are all facing,” declared Jones.

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