DEADLY POLICE OPERATIONS

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September 22, 2016
Ian Allen/Photographer Policemen in combat mode during a demonstration of the use of less lethal force training and defensive tactics at the National Police College of Jamaica in Twickenham Park, St.Catherine yesterday.

The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) has tabled a report in Parliament which claims that none of the planned security operations carried out by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) between July 2013 and last December complied with its use of force policy.

At the same time, INDECOM said that 125 persons were killed in planned police operations over the period.

"A study of these operations, tells a tale of routine disregard for internal policies and protocols," INDECOM said in a report, which was tabled one day before yesterday's handing over of 3,500 less lethal weapons kit to the JCF by the United States Embassy.

The US Embassy had previously gifted Jamaica 3,500 less lethal kits which include utility belt with the knight stick, the mace and the handcuffs

"Police shooting incidents are identified by two overarching descriptors, either 'spontaneous' or 'planned'. The planned police operation is identified as one where there has been sufficient time and consideration given to the police operation and the tactics to adopt. This is opposed to the often chance, random and sudden encounter with gunmen by single or patrolling officers - the spontaneous event," the report pointed out.

INDECOM said that there is a need for police to carefully plan and execute operations to minimise, to the greatest extent possible, the use of deadly force.

Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams said that the JCF has been working to reduce the use of lethal force by its officers.

At yesterday's handover of the less lethal weapons kit, which took place at The National Police College of Jamaica in Twickenham Park, St.Catherine, Williams said that the US Embassy has assisted with the training of 26 officers as less lethal trainers.

"The JCF instructors then went on to train more than 3,500 JCF members, most of who are frontline officers in the use of these devices, and the devices in the kits," the commissioner said.

"By the time all these 7,000 kits are deployed, majority of members of the force will be trained to use them and they will by then become a standard part of the police kit in the JCF," he said.

"It will be a game changer because it will finally provide frontline police officers with an option to the use of the firearm as a first resort, and the life altering consequences that result from the deployment of deadly force will no longer be a matter," he added.

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