2023 Tops Competition Spotlights Police Area One

Police divisions in Area One will be the focus for the 2023 Police Civilian Oversight Authority (PCOA) Transforming Our Police Service (TOPS) Competition.

Inspections get under way on September 11 for the fifth instalment of the competition, which will involve police stations in Trelawny, Hanover, Westmoreland and St. James.

Developed in 2019, the TOPS programme is aimed at fostering greater conformity with prescribed Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) policies as well as raise morale among police personnel.

Speaking at a JIS Think Tank on September 6, Senior Director, Inspections and Monitoring at the PCOA, Andrew Beaumont, said that the stations will be evaluated in several areas.

“We first look at records management by reviewing, for example, the station diaries, and we look at the firearm register – how they manage their firearms. We look at the general property, which is how they handle property coming into the stations, we look at the CR 10, which is the receipt that you will receive when you make a report at the station,” he outlined.

He indicated that the PCOA also pays keen attention to matters relating to the treatment of persons held in custody.

“We also look at how they keep prisoners in custody, which is critical to human rights. We look to see if persons are being remanded according to the Bail Act and we look to see that they are conducting their security checks to reduce breakouts,” he noted further.

The top-performing stations, based on the inspections, will be recognised at an awards ceremony slated for Police Week in November.

“There is the Top Station [award]. We also give the Top Division for the entire area, the Top Station for Prisoners in Custody, the Top Division for Customer Service and also the Top Station for each police division,’’ he noted.

Mr. Beaumont noted that the JCF members are enthusiastic about the competition, which shows their commitment to improving their service to the public.

“What we observe is that officers are generally very excited about this programme. When you talk about the boost of morale from the personnel, it’s very exciting to see the competitive spirit on the ground; they all want to win,” he said.

For her part, Chief Executive Officer of the PCOA, Otarah Byfield-Nugent, told JIS News that this year’s competition promises to award “excellent prizes”.

“We have a lot of people coming on board to award those stations or those commanders who are giving excellent service. I can tell you that the awards are going to be exciting, so it is up to the commanders to be doing excellent work in their divisions,” she said.

The TOPS Programme comprises four phases – a competition held in one of five JCF Area Commands; an awards ceremony; a performance review meeting between the JCF Hierarchy and PCOA Members where issues emanating from inspections conducted for the competition are discussed and agreed targets for improvement set; and a re-inspection to determine if these targets are met.

The original article can be found here.

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