Police expo impresses Jamaicans

The technology and skills on display at the inaugural Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) expo have impressed and captivated a number of patrons, some of whom admitted that they had no clue the police force was so well equipped.

“I am seeing some technology that I did not know exists in Jamaica,” Linton Blake told the Jamaica Observer last Thursday during the session before the official launch of the four-day event titled ‘Transformations 2023: People, Quality and Technology Expo’ at National Arena in St Andrew.

“Most of the technologies I have seen only in shows, movies, series on Netflix. So to see that the JCF is getting to a place where they are trying to integrate this technology, I must say I feel comfortable as a citizen of this country to know that there is a time coming where I will feel safe. I’ll rest comfortably knowing that the JCF have some technology in their possession that they can utilise to fight crime and make this country safe for for us,” Blake said.

“I must say, hats off to the JCF for this, and it’s a beautiful execution so far… I only wish that us, the patrons, would be able to partake in some of the different activities and have a more hands-on experience, but outside of that, it’s a beautiful experience so far,” he added.

The expo, which ended on Sunday, gave the public examples of how the JCF’s quality management systems and technology are revolutionising policing in Jamaica.

Among the examples were a staged crime scene in which police personnel demonstrated how technology is used to analyse the evidence and solve the crime.

Patrons also saw JamaicaEye in operation, how the police use drones, how the smart system which allows for electronic ticketing works, body cameras at work, the use of facial recognition technology in real time, live demonstrations of a search and rescue, and a police dog’s recovery of drugs and firearms.

Psychology lecturer at Moneague College, Nathalie Steaines-Gordon, said that one of the things that stood out most to her was the way the programme was organised.

“I thought that for a first time event, the planning, the logistics everything was on point. It was easy for you to move around from one tent to another,” she said, adding her students, who are in their first year of criminal justice studies, were very excited about the expo.

“The presentations were very, very good. My students really enjoyed it and they were educated,” she said.

Tivoli Gardens High School Grade 10 student Alphonso Buckley summed up as “very interesting” his experience at the expo.

He said he was surprised by all the gear, like the drones and body cameras, that the JCF has in its possession.

Corporal Fiztroy Pryce from the Information, Communications and Technology Division, a subdivision of the JCF’s technology branch, said that through the expo, the police are demonstrating their technological capabilities.

“Our people internally have developed much of the technologies… on display here, and that speaks volumes. One thing that we can guarantee about the technology that is developed by our own people is that the quality is guaranteed to give effective and efficient service to the people of Jamaica,” he said.

He said that, based on the feedback of patrons, it has been recognised that much of the people are in awe “because the narrative that they knew about the JCF has simply been blown away by the magnitude of what is on display here”.

“Many didn’t know that the JCF was this dynamic and in-depth with the development of technology and it brings joy to me and I’m certain it brings joy to the senior management of the organisation to have demonstrated our capabilities to customers that we serve, that, they know that when we serve them, we serve them well,” he said.

The JCF’s Medical Services Branch also provided patrons with free health checks, among them blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index, and HIV tests.