PM Says INDECOM Should Operate with Balance

first_img He was responding to concerns raised by Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips, in relation to the disarming of the police by the oversight body. Imploring members of the security forces to obey the law, Dr. Phillips said, “I want to urge those who investigate them, including INDECOM, to be mindful of the circumstances in which they operate”. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has said lawmakers would be taking steps to ensure that the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) carries out its duties with “balance”. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has said lawmakers would be taking steps to ensure that the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) carries out its duties with “balance”.“We take the view that there really needs to be balance in how INDECOM operates… . I think this House which created the institution still retains the power. At some point, and I suspect it would have to be sooner than later, we will have to take some decisions to ensure that that very important institution operates with balance,” he said.He was responding to concerns raised by Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips, in relation to the disarming of the police by the oversight body.The Prime Minister was speaking in the House of Representatives on January 30.During the sitting, all 51 members of the House who were present voted in favour of the Emergency Powers (Continuance) Resolution 2018, which will extend the State of Public Emergency in the parish of St. James until May 2, 2018. The State of Public Emergency was declared on January 18.Imploring members of the security forces to obey the law, Dr. Phillips said, “I want to urge those who investigate them, including INDECOM, to be mindful of the circumstances in which they operate”.“If INDECOM has a problem with the members of the security forces, I don’t think they should disarm them in public, in full view of the citizens. I think it unnecessarily demoralises the men and women who are urged to obey the law, but who operate in what is a very dangerous situation on the street. There is literally a war that has been declared on society, and in that circumstance, you cannot weaken those who serve in the face of those who attack them,” said Dr. Phillips.The INDECOM is a Commission of Parliament, governed by the INDECOM Act. The Act was passed on April 15, 2010, and the Commission began operation on August 16, 2010.The INDECOM Act repealed the Police Public Complaints Act that established the Police Complaints Authority (PPCA), which was a civilian body established to probe allegations against members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).INDECOM is a civilian-staffed State agency tasked to undertake investigations concerning actions by members of the security forces and other agents of the State that result in death or injury to persons or the abuse of the rights of persons.Members of the security forces and other agents of the State for which INDECOM provides oversight include the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), District Constables, Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), and the Correctional Officers at the Department of Correctional Services (DCS). Story Highlightslast_img read more

Helping People Is My Calling Says Jamaica 55 Anniversary Awardee

first_img Ms. Balls recounted that friends and some of her fellow recipients are delighted with her award, saying: “Full time. You’ve been working for so long. It’s well earned.” Special Projects Coordinator in the Ministry of National Security, Patricia Leonie Balls, is among 65 institutions and persons who have been bestowed with the Prime Minister’s Jamaica 55 Commemorative Medal of Appreciation for the roles they have played in the country’s development.“My philosophy is about doing the full gamut of social intervention – individuals and infrastructure. Helping people is my calling. I have a natural ability for that, which I have enhanced with a Master’s degree in National Development and Project Planning that I did in England,” she tells JIS News.Ms. Balls recounted that friends and some of her fellow recipients are delighted with her award, saying: “Full time. You’ve been working for so long. It’s well earned.”This award is for her years of work in the field of public service, specifically social intervention. “When you do what you love, your work becomes your passion. Hence it doesn’t feel like work. I love to help people. That’s my passion,” Ms. Balls tells JIS News.Her journey began in 2001 as Project Manager in Grants Pen, where she oversaw the establishment of the Shortwood Road Branch Library, and the upgrade of the football field and multipurpose courts at the New Day Primary and Junior High School, and a carpentry/woodwork facility at the Stella Maris Foundation in the community. Five hundred persons were placed in jobs under this project and over 2,000 individuals participated in conflict resolution.The projects were funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the private sector.“I believe our greatest asset is our people. No one should be left behind. They have so much potential, but they need help to bring it to fruition,” says Ms. Balls.At this time, Montego Bay is her focus area. The Special Projects Coordinator has facilitated capacity-building and problem-solving initiatives in six communities in the Second City, namely Flanker, Mount Salem, Salt Spring, Canterbury, Rose Heights and Norwood.The short-term priorities for these communities include trauma care for victims of violence, effective parenting, infrastructural development, reduction of gender-based violence and improved conflict-resolution capacity of the residents.She is currently working with community members to implement some of these initiatives. Additionally, she is assisting with the build phase in Mount Salem, which forms part of the social-development component of the Ministry’s Five-Pillar Strategy.“Social intervention is critical in bringing about a more caring society. I interact with the residents on a daily basis, and get the buy-in from them,” says Ms. Balls.“A good day for me is when someone in the community has achieved something outstanding from one of the programmes,” she adds.When asked what her solution is for the youth, she advised: “Get them working. Get them to build their capacity and enhance their employability. I grew up seeing persons around me working”.The Prime Minister’s Jamaica 55 Commemorative Medal of Appreciation for Service to Jamaica is the culmination of the nearly year-long celebrations, which officially began in August 2017. “My philosophy is about doing the full gamut of social intervention – individuals and infrastructure. Helping people is my calling. I have a natural ability for that, which I have enhanced with a Master’s degree in National Development and Project Planning that I did in England,” she tells JIS News. Story Highlights Special Projects Coordinator in the Ministry of National Security, Patricia Leonie Balls, is among 65 institutions and persons who have been bestowed with the Prime Minister’s Jamaica 55 Commemorative Medal of Appreciation for the roles they have played in the country’s development. last_img read more