Twelve members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) – Area 3 were awarded at the 19th Annual Security Forces Thanksgiving Service hosted by Northern Caribbean University (NCU) on April 27, 2019. Reflecting the theme Serving Community Together for More than A Century, NCU and the JCF gave special recognition to four top female police in Area 3, which covers the parishes of Clarendon, Manchester and St. Elizabeth. The JCF celebrates 70 years since it began recruiting women.
The female awardees were Senior Superintendent of Police Dezeita Taylor from Area 3 Headquarters located in Mandeville; Detective Woman Inspector Angella McCurdy-Caine from the St. Elizabeth Division; Detective Woman Constable Patricia Desouza from the Clarendon Division, and Woman Constable Jelecia Williams from the Manchester Division.
The male awardees were Sergeant Gairy Hutchinson and District Constable Oscar Green from Area 3 Headquarters; Detective constables Erak Newman and Kaswayne Dixon from the Clarendon Division; Constable Emil Simms and District Constable Dennis Sawyers from the Manchester Division, and Constable Jason Haynes and District Constable Ericton Mullings from the St. Elizabeth Division.
While thanking NCU for honouring police personnel in Area 3, Assistant Commissioner of Police Clifford Chambers noted that the 152-year-old JCF was proud and better off for having women in its ranks. “We also must laud and acknowledge the service of our women who joined this organization 70 years ago…The motto as we know it now is A Force for Good but I can tell you that females, as active members of this organization, have made it far better than us men,” said ACP Chambers.
NCU, which is owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist church, is celebrating 100 years of service to Manchester. It relocated there in 1919 from Riversdale in St Catherine where it was founded in 1907.
The JCF Area 3 has renewed its commitment to partnering with the university in implementing community-based initiatives to fight crime in area. “Serving the protectors” was how ACP Chambers described the contribution of NCU, noting that “over the years this noble institution has offered dedicated support and service that has been timely and consistent, and in instances provided selfless service, even through tough economic times.”
As part of the awards service, 29 officers who died while in the line of duty during the period April 2018 – April 2019 were remembered in the usual rose-laying ceremony. The six female officers who died in 2018 were District Constable Beverley Payne (August 14), District Constable Melissa Edward-Whyte (September 29), Detective Sergeant Shudney Cassanova (November 13), District Constable Corine Erica Rhoden (November 22), Detective Sergeant Sonia Simpson (December 15) and Constable Ann-Marie Lawrence (December 29). Despite the continued grief of Area 3 officers, ACP Chambers was happy to report that no officer has died since the start of 2019.