The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has announced plans to increase its inventory of body-worn cameras (BWCs) to document officer interactions with civilians. This decision follows a recent report revealing the infrequent use of at least 400 BWCs already available to officers island-wide. In a Saturday evening social media release, the JCF stated that the expansion aims to enhance transparency and accountability for both police officers and civilians. However, the announcement did not provide specifics on how the JCF plans to ensure officer compliance with the new measure.

Earlier this year, the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) disclosed that, out of 106 incidents, including 64 killings from January to June, law enforcement officers wore body cameras only once. The JCF’s move comes amid calls from interest groups, and the decision aligns with National Security Minister Horace Chang’s previous indication that the government aims to acquire an additional 1,000 body-worn cameras during the current fiscal year. The introduction of these cameras will occur on a phased basis, according to the JCF, although a distribution timeline was not provided. The initiative raises questions about the effectiveness of the measure given the historical underutilization of existing body cameras.

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Reporter: Ramon Gordon 

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