Cops struggle to feed families
After forking out $35,000 out of his $84,000 salary each month to pay rent, John Anderson*, a policeman who works in the St Andrew Central Police Division, said he struggles to buy food for his family, which includes a two-year-old boy and 10-year-old girl.
"When mi take care of the rent, because mi always do that first because you affi live somewhere, sometimes we literally nuh have nuh food in the house," the Jamaica Constabulary Force member said. "It's not like we can go in some garrison communities to live where the rent is cheaper, because we are police."
Anderson, and many of his colleagues in the rank and file, has been staging a protest through a sickout for the past weeks over the Government's failure to make them an improved wage offer.
It is reported that the high number of police personnel who are not turning up is putting strain on many police divisions throughout the country.
Anderson said that senior officers have been asking them to 'hold strain', but he argued that many superiors aren't taking their plight into considerations.
"They are getting keep and care vehicles. Most police can't even license and insure them vehicle," Anderson said. "I know a lot of policeman whose vehicle nuh insured because when you pay half of your salary in rent, what you get to license and insure car?"
The cop, who is a corporal, said it is difficult for policemen to take care of the nation if they are not able to take care of their families first.
"Most rank and file can't survive on their salary, so you find that they will go out in the street and tek sump'n off civilians," Anderson said. "And they don't want us to do that."
The rank and file cops are upset over the failure of the Government to offer them more than a six per cent increase over two years.
* Name Changed