Sub-Officer in charge of the Above Rocks Police Station in St Catherine, Sergeant Garfield Wallace, was not surprised that his team walked away with the coveted Top Station award for Area 5 in the recently held Transforming Our Police Service (TOPS) Competition.
He tells says the lawmen have set a high standard for themselves in terms of customer service delivery, which was the major focus of this year’s competition organised by the Police Civilian Oversight Authority (PCOA).
“The practices that we were assessed on are what we do on a day-to-day basis, so it was just a case of us just doing our jobs and, as a result, being awarded. I think we were recognised based on the commitment by the entire staff, from the ancillary workers to the sergeant in charge. We were very much a team and, as a result, the team was victorious,” he adds.
The TOPS Competition, which is in its second year, assesses the participating police stations on their compliance with specific Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) standard operating procedures, including Records Management, Station Administration, Station Facility, Utilities Conservation and Customer Service.
Area 5, comprising the divisions of St Andrew North, St Catherine South, St Catherine North and St Thomas, was the focus of the 2020 competition.
Thirty-nine police stations in the four divisions were inspected as part of the awards scheme.
As part of the assessment process, PCOA conducted surveys in communities that are in the divisions of the participating stations to assess how citizens feel about the quality of customer service being offered.
“It is one thing to look at the administration of the station but we also have to factor in how people who are accessing the service or people, who need the service feel about it, in order to improve it,” PCOA’s Chief Executive Officer, Otarah Bayfield said.
She notes that the emphasis on customer service is directly related to the objective of the TOPS competition, which is to improve and strengthen public confidence in the JCF.
“We feel that in going forward with any change and transformation of the JCF, we have to get an understanding on the ground of how the customer, which is the public, feels about the police in general and the kind of service that they get from the police in their community. By getting that understanding, we are able to build programmes around what we have found to improve it,” she points out.