A family of five cops - Five brothers and sisters in the force
While others might be reluctant to encourage their loved ones to get into law enforcement, one St James woman is proud that five of her seven children are now serving members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
Sandra Smith, who hails from Goodwill, St James, but now resides in Canada, is beaming with pride that her seven children are now upstanding citizens, making a positive contribution to the Jamaican society.
In addition to five of her children being cops, one is a nurse and the other is a teacher.
"As a single mother in the community, I had some challenges in providing for my children," she recalls. "However, I tried my best to ensure that food was on the table and that there was a roof over our heads.
"As a result of the challenges that I was having, my first child, Veneicea, decided to join the JCF and to provide additional financial support for me and her siblings," Smith said. "This opened the door for the other five children to enter the JCF, and to date, there have been no regrets".
Veneicea Ferguson, her sister Natasha Brown, and brother, Kevin Marks, are corporals while sisters Novella Pascoe and Kerisha Stephenson are constables.
"When Veneicea decided to join the police force, it was on the basis of helping her family. She was the rock which the family leaned on, and based on her outstanding performance in the force, she has not only been promoted, but has provided a source of inspiration for her brothers and sisters to serve their country through the JCF," the mother said.
Smith, who works in the medical field in Canada, told the WESTERN STAR that she was convinced that being a member of the police force is a viable career option.
"I do believe that apart from providing young people with a steady job and opportunities to grow and excel, the JCF, by and large, remains a very good career path. I firmly believe that it provides the necessary discipline through training for everyone, and in time to come, there could be a policy which channels unemployed or unattached youth into the force. I am encouraging parents to support their children who decide to enter the field of law enforcement by joining the Jamaica Constabulary Force," she said.
Corporal Ferguson, who is assigned to the Adelphi Police Station in St James, said that she is very happy with her decision to join the JCF.
"At that time, I merely wanted to ensure that the pressure that was on my mother to support my brothers and sisters was eased," she said. "I joined the police force because it is a reputable organisation, and I believe the work that I have done and my performance in the force helped to influence my brothers and sisters to take the same career path," she said.