My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Why Min. of National Security having Jamaican Police with Body Cameras is INDECOM ‘s Eyes and Ears

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Why Min. of National Security having Jamaican Police with Body Cameras is INDECOM ‘s Eyes and Ears

“The purpose of this project is to improve the collection of evidence of criminal activity in an effort to prosecute and reduce such activity, improve the transparency of JCF activities when interacting with the public, to encourage JCF officers to act in accordance with the force's professional standards to include the appropriate use of force, and to create a record to protect JCF officers from unfair allegations of violations of JCF professional standards”

Minister of National Security Peter Bunting commenting on the move to have JCF Police wear Body Cameras as announced at the Post Cabinet Press Briefing on Thursday January 22nd 2014

Well, sorta….. as I’ve been biding my time and watching this story, waiting for more details of Minister of National Security Peter Bunting plan to emerged. So here goes nothing!

This as Minister of National Security Peter Bunting has come off his knees seeking divine intervention and has man-up to the task by declaring that select JCF (Jamaica Constabulary Force)  aka the Jamaican Police are to get Body Cameras by July 2014 as reported in “Body Cameras for Policemen”, published January 24, 2014 By Alphea Saunders, The Jamaica Information Service.

The move is really a response to the complaints about extra-judicial killings, making it much different from CCTV Cameras, which are mainly aimed at deterring Crime to quote Minister of National Security Peter Bunting: “However, the Administration views the issue of extra-judicial killings with the gravest concern and is committed to the police being accountable for their actions, and that every use of lethal force must be independently investigated, explained and justified”.

But the same logic applies, only this time the Cameras are on the Policeman Body as well as on their Patrol Vehicles. Clearly to, this will help to improve the image of the Police as note in his further statement on the matter, quote: “The Government of Jamaica is committed to reducing the level of crime and violence that has taken a terrible toll on this nation. As part of this commitment we will be taking all necessary steps to ensure that the JCF becomes one of the most trusted and respected institutions in Jamaica”.

The Jamaica Gleaner and The Jamaica Observer did a fabulous job of carrying the announcement as noted in “Bunting Announces That Police Are To Start Wearing Body Cameras”, Published Thursday January 23, 2014 12:13 pm, The Jamaica Gleaner and “Police to wear body cameras”, published Thursday, January 23, 2014 6:41 PM, The Jamaica Observer.  When I read it I tweeted on @lindsworthdeer as shown below exactly how I felt:

This announcement was made at the Post Cabinet Press Briefing on Thursday January 23rd 2014 along with the fact that he indeed had the Crime  Monster under control as stated in “Crime Not Out Of Control – Minister Bunting”, published January 24, 2014 By Alphea Saunders, The Jamaica Information Service.

Good to note too that the Minister of Security is also distancing himself from the ‘Education and Crime: Evidence from Prison inmates in Jamaica’ study that’s suggesting that Lower tier non-traditional Schools are a breeding ground for Criminals, as this isn’t necessarily true and is very divisive and stigmatizing and doesn’t help the Schools at all. 

This as he spoke at the 21st staging of the Ministry of National Security’s Annual Devotion, held on Wednesday January 22nd 2014 at the Emmanuel Apostolic Church as stated in the article “Schools Not to be Blamed, says Minister Bunting”, published January 23, 2014 By Shelly-Ann Irving, The Jamaica Information Service.

Worse, it would now appear that the Traditional Media was spinning tales to sell more newspapers and more TV Ads proclaiming that Crime was spiralling out of control!

Jamaican Police endorse Body Cameras – INDECOM ‘s eyes and ears on the Force

But best of all in my book is the fact that the JCF (Jamaica Constabulary Force)  aka the Jamaican Police with four (4) SSP (Senior Superintendent of Police) voicing support for the move as reported in “Cops support body cameras”, published Friday, January 24, 2014, The Jamaica Observer.

So too does the Jamaica Police Federation, which endorses the move as stated in this *.pdf copy of their Press Release in response to Body Camera Announcement as stated in “Police Federation endorses body camera for Police”, published 2014-01-27, Go-Jamaica.

This is clearly a move to blunt criticism about so-called extra-judicial killing perpetrated at the hands of the Jamaican Police, as he also suggested that he’s also ensure compliance with INDECOM as it relates to investigations from now on, quote: “I have issued directives to the commissioner of police to take immediate steps to address compliance with the Jamaica Constabulary [Force] Use of Force Policy and the INDECOM Act as well as to institute new measures to improve accountability”.

However the head of the NGO (Non Governmental Organization) FAST (Families Against State Terrorism) Yvonne McCalla Sobers isn’t that this will make a difference, pointing out that the Minister of Security has good intentions but spaces on details as noted in “Police Body Cameras Not Enough, Says McCalla Sobers”, Published Friday January 24, 2014 9:07 am, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Video, Audio and Still Picture Evidence – Tamper Proof System to be Admissible in Court

But it will actually. So why am I so hopeful?

This as the Body Cameras may herald the coming of a Separate Telecom Network just for the Jamaican Police to carry all that Video Traffic as I'd explained in my blog article entitled “GOJ to upgrade NWA's CCTV Traffic Monitoring Network to give Police more eyes in Private Places - The Da Vinci Code for Automated Traffic Ticketing System and 1984”.

This is based on the words of Minister Peter Bunting, quote: “There are various versions…some that record, some which transmit from the device back to a patrol vehicle, and some which transmit to a central control…so, there are a number of options” .

Drawing on the parallel with CCTV Cameras, this suggests that the CCTV Camera Network that the Minister Peter Bunting was all hopped up about April 2013 as written in my Geezam blog article entitled “Jamaica’s National Security Ministry plans CCTV Network and Automated Traffic Ticketing System” is going to be built not only for CCTV Cameras but to act as the Wireless Network to carry the Data back to the JCF NOC (Network Operation Center) which may very well be the CCN (Constabulary Communication Network).

Makes sense!

That much traffic from that many Police carrying Compressed HD (High Definition) Video and Audio will clog our current 3G and HSDPA+ Networks for Both of our Telecom Providers, albeit Telecom Provider LIME and Digicel probably wouldn’t  mind, so long as the GOJ (Government of Jamaica) pays on time!

But as such as scheme would be too expensive for the GOJ to undertake, the idea of piggy-backing the Traffic on the E-Learning Fiber Optic Network that’s being built to interconnect the 300 High Schools as well as the NWA (National Works Agency) Fiber Optic Network used to control their Traffic Lights and Traffic Cameras imply a Separate Telecom Network to be built just for the Jamaican Police. 

Plus aside from the Technical Requirements which would necessitate a separate Network, there are Legislative changes that would have to be put in place to make Video, Audio and Still picture evidence admissible in a Court of law as evidence in lieu of witness Testimony as stated in my blog article entitled “Handheld Traffic Ticketing Units for Jamaican Police a success but no Automated Traffic Ticketing System - GOJ fears the All Seeing Eyes of CCTV”.

Hopefully along with those Legislative changes will be UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to save the Jamaican Police on the cost of maintaining their Fleet of Vehicles and even lives by providing an additional pair of eyes in the sky as argued in my blog article entitled “GOJ can develope UAV's as a means of giving the Police eyes in the sky - Inspiration for Aviators in Jamaica via G.I. Joe Retaliation”.

Stay tuned for more details on his Body Camera Initiative and how exactly it will work, as it may be close to what I’ve penned here!

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