Pubdate: Tue, 05 Dec 2006
Source: Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)
Copyright: 2006 The Jamaica Observer Ltd,
Author: Ken Chaplin


The Caribbean Regional Drug Law Enforcement Training  Centre (Redtrac)
at Twickenham Park, St Catherine, has  been at the forefront of the
regional fight against  drugs over the past 10 years. Given a mandate
in 1996  to serve the law enforcement needs of different drug  control
agencies in 18 English-speaking Caribbean  countries, the centre has
effectively carried out its  role of training police, customs,
military, port  security, immigration officers and computer technology
  personnel. Over the 10 years, 1996 to 2006, a total of  5194 law
enforcement officers across the Caribbean,  including 3644 Jamaicans,
have been trained at the  centre.

The level of training provided by Redtrac has reduced  the
English-speaking Caribbean law enforcement  officers' dependence on
metropolitan countries for  training, says Bertram Millwood, a former
deputy  commissioner of police, who has been director principal  of
Redtrac since its establishment. He adds that at the  same time there
is greater cost effectiveness in  satisfying the training needs of
participating  countries.

Prior to 1996, officers in Jamaica and the rest of the  Caribbean
received narcotics training in Canada, the  United States and the
United Kingdom. This meant that  only a limited number of officers
could be facilitated.  Besides, it was costly, and participants were
exposed  to some matters not necessarily relevant to the  Caribbean
environment. At present, the training  provided by Redtrac has greatly
improved relationships  among drug law enforcement agencies in the
Caribbean  and enhanced cooperation among participating countries.
The continuing focus of the centre is on development of  linkages and
rapport among individuals and agencies  across the Caribbean.

Initially, emphasis was on teaching general narcotics  interdiction
courses, but gradually the centre has  included intelligence-gathering,
financial  investigations, advanced leadership skills and most
recently the techniques of financial investigation, a  product of
collaboration between Redtrac and trainers  from the US Treasury. In
this developmental process,  the centre shifted its focus to assisting
investigators  to take the money out of criminal activities such as
drug trafficking, organised crime and money laundering.

Jamaican graduates from the centre are well equipped to  fight drug
trafficking and other related drug crimes.  They have made a
significant contribution to the  success in the fight against drugs by
the authorities  here, including the Narcotics Division of the Jamaica
  Constabulary Force. National drug statistics released  by the
division show that over the past five years  7,335.64 kg of cocaine,
14 kg crack, 133,680 kg  cannabis, 2,904 kg hash oil, 222 kg hashish,
0.59 kg  heroin, 146,681 ecstasy tablets have been seized and  31,783
people arrested.

The centre epitomises an institution delivering a  consistently high
standard of training across the  region, the greatest impact being its
availability to  provide continuity and sustainability in
cross-Caribbean training.

Llewellyn calls for professionalism

Meanwhile, in her charge to the graduates at the recent  graduation of
Redtrac, Paula V Llewellyn, senior deputy  director of public
prosecutions and a first-class  criminal lawyer who is slated to
succeed the director  Kent Pantry when he retires next year, spoke
about the  importance of professionalism. She said that she cannot
think of any other time within recent history of our  respective
Caribbean countries more demanding of public  servants to have a level
of professionalism, integrity,  courage, selfishness and the will to
do the right thing  as far as the execution of their public duty is
concerned. She said professionalism is the state or  attitude which
mandates "you to treat people with  respect irrespective of their
class, race or creed; how  you would want to be treated, that is with
respect, in  the same way you want to be treated and that you give  of
your best in the way that you execute your duties".

Speaking on financial investigation, one of the  subjects of the
training, Miss Llewellyn said this was  most timely. She was sure that
it would enlarge the  cadre of highly trained individuals in law
enforcement  who will provide great support in the investigation of
financial or "white-collar" crimes. These crimes are  evolving in
quantity and complexity, and showcase the  cunning and ingenuity of
perpetrators. She also said  these crimes involved several types of
dishonesty,  including larceny, forgery, fraud, offences against the
Financial Services Commission Act 2001, Securities Act  1993,
Insurance Act 2001, Pension Act 2001 and  attendant regulations, Bank
of Jamaica Act 1960,  Financial Institutions Act l992 and the Money
Laundering Act 1996, and require solid investigative  expertise to act
as the pillar of support for  successful investigation and
- ---
MAP posted-by: Derek