The Association of Christian Police Officers (ACPO) was founded to facilitate Christian growth and develop the members of ACPO and their peers. To enhance credibility and probity within the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), through compliance with the regulations, code of ethics and the citizen charter for the JCF. To foster a positive relationship between members of the JCF and members of the public based on respect, community participation and service.
Corporal Cyril Francis heads the St. Catherine North Chapter of the ACPO.
Q. When and where was this organization founded?
A. The ACPO was founded at the Jamaica Police Academy in June 2001. It has had significant growth since then.
Q. What are the goals and objectives of the ACPO?
A. Our primary objective is to facilitate the Christian growth and development of the members of ACPO and their peers. The ACPO is under the Chaplincy Unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, we operate under the supervision of our area Chaplin.
Q. You are in charge of the St. Catherine North Chapter. How many chapters are in the organization and what is the organizational structure? What is your current membership?
A. There are currently four chapters. Our structure includes: A National Association, Area Chapters, Divisional Subchapters, and Cell Groups. We have a president, vice president, secretary, assistant secretary and a treasurer.
Presently we have 30 members in the St Catherine North Chapter. There are over 500 active members island wide. Membership is in not restricted to Christians. We have a number of members who not Christians.
We also have an ACPO choir. The choir sings at church functions and police officer funerals throughout the community. At times, some of our members also deliver sermons.
My main function is to plan and implement promotional and recruitment activities for the growth and development of the ACPO.
Q. How many officers are currently receiving assistance from your organization?
A. We have about 15 officers who we would like to offer assistance. However due to lack of funds, none of them are currently receiving any financial assistance. We do give emotional and spiritual support to the officers and their family members.
Q. How is the organization funded?
A. Through automatic salary deduction, each member contributes $100 per month. We hold fundraisers, and presently I am coordinating a gospel concert. We sometimes receive funds from sponsors.
We do have a number of sponsors for the concert fundraiser – Morgan’s Funeral Home, Spanish Town Mayor, Andrew Wheatle, and Nakash.
Q. How does an officer receive assistance? Do you reach out to them, or do they contact you?
A. As soon as we know an officer is injured, we visit them and the family. It is also part of my portfolio as St Catherine North’s Peer Counselor to check in on officers.
Q. What are some of the challenges being faced by your organization?
A. Some persons who are not Christians have objections to certain things we do. But overall, we receive a tremendous amount of support from the community.
Q. Does your organization work in conjunction with any other social or community based organizations?
A. We work very closely with churches.
Q. As a Christian police officer, what challenges do you face as you conduct your duties?
A. Tight challenges are not many; thankfully God has paved the way for me. Currently I do not carry a firearm, and I can say that I am blessed.
Most of the challenges I face are within the organization. I am well received by my colleagues and the public. Most of them are pleased to see a Christian Officer.
Q. How long have you been a member of the JCF? What was the driving force behind you becoming an officer?
A. I have been in the force for seven years. I started out as a constable.
I joined because I loved the uniform. It was the initial attraction for me. I believe the Lord directed me to do the work he needed. He had a plan for me.
Q. What do you like to do in your spare time?
A. I like to play board games with my wife. We often enjoy playing Chinese Checkers. I also spend time reading my bible.
Q. Any closing comments for our readers?