Lifestyle-related Illnesses Are Killing Police Officers Across Jamaica, Federation Boss Says

Stevian Simmonds reports

At least one member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, JCF, dies each week from lifestyle-related illnesses.

That’s according to the Jamaica Police Federation.

The Federation is convinced this is directly linked to what it sees as the poor conditions in which policemen and women are forced to work.

That’s why the body which represents rank and file members of the police force is calling for a national study to determine the true state of affairs.

The Police Federation Chairman, Patrae Rowe, was reacting to news that the Criminal Records Office has resumed service at a refurbished facility at 6-to-8 Orange Street in downtown, Kingston.

The office’s former location at 34 Duke Street, was shuttered after preliminary results of air quality tests raised serious concerns.

Sergeant Rowe says it’s a national disgrace that successive administrations allowed the workspaces of the men and women of the Constabulary to deteriorate.

He says such poor working conditions are typical in several of the buildings that members of the Constabulary have to work.

And, it’s what he theorizes may account for the prevalence of lifestyle illnesses and deaths of members of the police force.

Sergeant Rowe says the new Criminal Records Office is an upgrade.

But, he says there are still concerns.

He says the workers are concerned that the air conditioner unit may have been contaminated due to lack of use or poor maintenance.

Stevian Simmonds is an investigative journalist with almost 3 years of experience in radio broadcasting, production and reporting. She graduated from Caribbean School of Media and Communication in 2014 and joined Nationwide News in 2016. In 2018, she produced a special report examining the working conditions of the Bussiness Process Outsourcing Industry. She worked undercover as a call center agent for a month, revealing the lack of data protection and general security infrastructure in the industry. Her report also highlighted the poor working conditions and remuneration faced by workers in the industry. In 2018, Stevian traveled to New Delhi India where she participated in the Inaugural WHO Partners Forum benefiting from critical training related to reporting on women’s and children’s health issues.

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