KINGSTON, Jamaica – Twenty- three graduates from Jamaica, Barbados and Montserrat, who participated in a narcotics investigation course at the Regional Drug Law Enforcement Training Centre (REDTRAC) in St. Catherine, have been warned to keep their integrity intact.
“There can be no more important qualities for members of law enforcement agencies than that they are to be honest and act with integrity,” Director/Principal of the Centre, located at Twickenham Park, Bertram Milwood, told graduates of the two-week course on Friday (December 18).
He noted that they were handpicked and trained and, therefore, much more is expected of them.
“We have no excuses whatsoever. We must be able to differentiate between what are ethical and unethical courses of action,” Mr. Milwood said.
He said that during 2009, 643 officers were trained, which was 20 per cent above the projected number.
Guest Speaker, Executive Director of the National Council on Drug Abuse, Michael Tucker, noted that there was increasing need for regional cooperation on drug control, given the blurring of the lines between countries that are producers, transit points and consumers.
Director/Principal of the Caribbean Regional Drug Law Enforcement Training Centre ((REDTRAC), Bertram Milwood (left), Executive Director of the National Council on Drug Abuse, Michael Tucker (centre) and Director of Human Resource Development at the Ministry of National Security, Lorraine Johnson, engaging in lighthearted discourse ahead of the graduation ceremony and luncheon for the Narcotics Investigation Course.
He also noted that the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD) has pioneered the idea of hemispheric responsibility for drug control, leading to greater cooperation on drug control issues among countries in the western Hemisphere.
“Since 1994, CICAD has broadened its original anti-drug mandate to include new substances of abuse.they also include money laundering, firearms trafficking, maritime cooperation, port security, community policing, drug-related youth and gang violence, alternative sentences for minor drug offences ..and, most recently, consideration of transnational organised crime,” Mr. Tucker said.
He added that in the region, CICAD has helped to bring some farmers into legitimate farming activities, as well as assisted with demand reduction activities and training of youth interventionists and other partners, such as health workers, in identifying drug users.
Senior Customs Officer, Sharlene Blair (left), accepting her certificate from Director of Human Resource Development at the Ministry of National Security, Lorraine Johnson.
Participants in the training course agreed that though the two-week schedule was very compact, the lessons were not compromised.
A participant from Jamaica, Detective Corporal Debbia Jennings, said that the training has emphasized that “no one section or association in society can stop the drug trade; it takes everyone”.