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U.S. provides $J12.2 Million in funding to Support Police (Civilian Oversight) Authority in Jamaica

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The United States Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires, James Heg and Chairman of the Police Civilian Oversight Authority, the Most Reverend Bishop Charles Dufour C.D., on Thursday, November 29, signed two grant agreements under which the Narcotics Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy will provide US$175,000 (J$12,250,000.00) to support the Police (Civilian Oversight) Authority in Jamaica.

The funds will to be used to develop projects to help in increasing the public’s awareness of the Authority, its mandate, activities and services.

Some of the public education activities to be undertaken include civic and community group meetings, as well as public forums. It will also assist in the development of best practice standards through benchmarking visits to existing Civilian Authorities in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

Mr. Heg expressed his pleasure that the United States Government has been able to provide these funds to the Police (Civilian Oversight) Authority “to establish ongoing forums to increase cooperation between the public and the police, to develop information materials on citizen’s rights and to engage the community on issues and concerns regarding the police.”

Bishop Dufour said the funding will go a far way in assisting the Authority and its work and that he looked forward to continued support from the U.S. Government.

Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Professor Kenneth Hall appointed the Chairman and members of the Police (Civilian Oversight) Authority in August 2006. The other members are the Honorable Oliver Clarke O.J., Dr. Patrick Allen C.D., Gladstone Lewars, Rudolph Hamilton O.D., Arlene Harrison-Henry and Dr. Marshall Hall, C.D.

The main functions of the Police (Civilian Oversight) Authority are to monitor the implementation of policy relating to the Force and the auxiliaries, monitor the standard of performance of the Force and the auxiliaries, so as to ensure that internationally accepted standards of policing are maintained, conduct inspections of the Force and the auxiliaries and monitor the management and use of the financial and other resources of the Force and the auxiliaries.

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