Why Single Out Hunts Bay


For decades the dress code of the Jamaica Constabulary Force has been a sore subject for members of that police department.
For rank and file officers who are required to go out and make arrests and be responsive to the requirements of modern-day policing, the impracticality of the uniform is a real issue.

This dress code has long out­lived its use­ful­ness.

The uni­form still being worn by the police has not kept pace with the ever-evolv­ing face of polic­ing.
The Federation which acts as a de fac­to union for rank and file offi­cers cer­tain­ly have not been as stri­dent as it should be in lob­by­ing for a more prac­ti­cal work dress for its mem­bers.
Additionally, the uni­form worn by senior mem­bers from Inspector to Commissioner depicts an image that they are not inter­est­ed in doing police work or worse that they are above actu­al polic­ing.

In police depart­ments across the world, police offi­cers wear full dress uni­form with util­i­ty belt replete with accou­ter­ments of the trade. This is true of the last joined guy or girl all the way to the chief of the depart­ment.

Today’s police have to be much more adept in order to match the dex­ter­i­ty of crim­i­nals, what they wear is very impor­tant.

There is no log­i­cal rea­son for the uni­form still in exis­tence except that this is the uni­form which they have had for decades.
I think it is safe to say that there are many things which we have had for decades which aren’t work­ing so well, that includes some of our laws.
Not only is the uni­form of the police cer­e­mo­ni­al and imprac­ti­cal the hier­ar­chy of the force in typ­i­cal utter obsti­na­cy con­tin­ue to insist on the wear­ing of dress uni­form as opposed to the blue den­im even in cas­es where it is a dan­ger to offi­cer’s lives.
I will come back to that.

There are offi­cers who are called upon to take on crim­i­nals in ways oth­er police offi­cers are not.
This has been true through­out the nations short his­to­ry, it will be true as long as this nation exists, it is sim­ply the way things work.
This is not unique to Jamaica, it is stan­dard pro­ce­dure in police depart­ments across the world.
That is the rea­son two offi­cers who have had dif­fer­ent expe­ri­ences serv­ing in the same depart­ment will have dif­fer­ent opin­ions in dis­cus­sions on aspects of the very same depart­ment.

The Blue uni­form is a uni­ver­sal­ly accept­ed dress includ­ing for the world’s largest police depart­ment the NYPD.

Some of those spe­cial func­tions include the Mobile Reserve offi­cers, CIB, and oth­er offi­cers, also there are offi­cers who are asked to pen­e­trate deep into depressed com­mu­ni­ties and bring polic­ing to those res­i­dents.
In depressed com­mu­ni­ties all across the coun­try and in places like Riverton City and oth­ers with­in the Hunts Bay police area of respon­si­bil­i­ty.
Some of these offi­cers are asked to ride motor­cy­cles and are gen­er­al­ly required to work night shifts.

The abil­i­ty to use stealth in the per­for­mance of their duties is absolute­ly crit­i­cal to these offi­cers who risk their lives dai­ly with­out the val­ue of back­up in short order.
Having prac­ti­cal uni­forms (not dress cer­e­mo­ni­al uni­form) is crit­i­cal as well.
These offi­cers we are told, have removed many guns from the streets and have saved many lives. Nevertheless, we have learned that Deputy Commissioner of Police Clifford Blake has sin­gled out the Hunts Bay offi­cers and demand­ed that they wear dress uni­form even though they are required to work nights and under less than ide­al cir­cum­stances.

DCP Clifford Blake

Speaking to sources I was told that the DCP is demand­ing that only 20 offi­cers be allowed to wear the more prac­ti­cal Denim dress.
When I inquired what was the expla­na­tion giv­en for the fact that the DCP sin­gled out Hunts Bay, I learned that none was giv­en.

Whatever the rea­son for this direc­tive from DCP Blake, it should not be that one divi­sion is sin­gled out for a pol­i­cy direc­tive. Particularly in a divi­sion which, for all intents and pur­pos­es serves some of the most depressed and vio­lent com­mu­ni­ties on the Island.
The con­di­tions the Hunts Bay police encounter each day direct­ly stip­u­lates that they need the best accou­ter­ments to do their job.
That includes the most prac­ti­cal uni­form avail­able.
We would like to ask DCP Blake to look at this direc­tive and under­stand the impli­ca­tions of his direc­tive when con­sid­ered against the life and safe­ty of the men and women over whom he has super­vi­so­ry con­trol.

The need to have offi­cers con­form to dress code can­not be overem­pha­sized, how­ev­er, the den­im uni­form is vast­ly supe­ri­or in prac­ti­cal­i­ty and func­tion­al­i­ty.
The den­im, or some­thing close to it, should be the way for­ward not dress to be scoffed at for the more imprac­ti­cal cer­e­mo­ni­al cum­mer­bund attire.
We urge DCP Blake to con­sid­er the lives of offi­cers over old cer­e­mo­ni­al norms.

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