Thursday 20 February, 2020

Federation renews call for study of police deaths/working conditions

Detective Sergeant Patrae Rowe

Detective Sergeant Patrae Rowe

The Jamaica Police Federation is hoping that the Government will accede to repeated calls for a study to be conducted to determine the association between the deaths of police officers and the stressful nature of their jobs.

A renewed call comes on the heels of the sudden passing of 34-year-old Woman Constable Natoya Bryan, who was found dead inside her home in Longville Park, Clarendon on Friday.

Bryan, who was assigned to the St Catherine North Community Safety and Security Branch unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), was last seen alive leaving work on Christmas Night.

"The police federation once again calls on the Government to heed our call for a study to be done into the association between lifestyle diseases in the Jamaica Constabulary Force and (the) conditions of work. The concern for employer’s liability cannot be weighed over the concerns for our members' lives and health and wellness.

"The Government has been extremely stubborn in respect to our advocacy in this area, and we hope that in the coming year they will seek to improve their position on this matter," Chairman of the Jamaica Police Federation, Detective Sergeant Patrae Rowe, appealed.

"We express condolences to the family of Woman Constable Bryan. Her colleagues who work(ed) closely with her are in a state of mourning at this time, and we extend sympathies to them," Rowe added.

He said Woman Constable Bryan's death brought to 45, the number of JCF members who have died this year.

"Certainly the police federation once again wishes to highlight that 45 members have died year- to-date. Over 35 of these members have died of natural causes. The police federation continues to believe that the high death rate within the constabulary force is directly associated with (the) working conditions, conditions of work which are extremely poor," Rowe stated.

File photo of Woman Constable Natoya Bryan who was found dead at her home in Longville Park, Clarendon on Friday.

He added: "Our colleague, Miss Bryan, worked Christmas Night and went home and died. And pretty much after leaving duty that was the last time persons saw her. Apparently she died in the same clothes that she left work in. We need to probe more into the circumstances surrounding her death."

In an interview with Loop News, Sergeant Rowe questioned how many more members of the JCF will have to die before the Government grants the request for the long-awaited study.

"... But the police federation deeply regrets the passing of our colleague and we ask how many more colleagues have to die? This is a young woman, only 34 years’ old. How many more of our young colleagues have to die? A senior crime-fighter who died and was buried two weeks ago, was only 41 years’ old,” noted the federation chairman.

“Our young officers are presented with serious health conditions and one has to ask the question, why? And why so many of our officers are dying... It must be directly associated with what we all have in common, (which) is the fact that we work a stressful job that demands so much from us in Jamaica, and there has to be some kind of study," Rowe concluded.

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