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Attorney-at-law and talk show host, Khadine ‘Ms Kitty’ Hylton (right) is greeted by Sandra Jones, manager, Public Sector Engagement Unit, JN Bank ahead of a Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Women’s Conference held last month. Ms Hylton, who delivered the keynote address at the conference, encouraged women police to shirk from leadership positions in the force. Ms Jones, who also addressed the women of the constabulary, urged them to self-care by ensuring that they address their mental and emotional needs

Attorney-at-law and talk show host, Khadine ‘Miss Kitty’ Hylton, has implored women police not to shirk from pursuing top jobs in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), underscoring that they are qualified to lead the nation’s law enforcement body at the highest level.

“The women of the JCF have to, rise up and take their place, without fear and favour,” she told a JN Group-sponsored hybrid Women’s Conference of the Constabulary, recently.

She also reminded them that, “You do not need to ‘shrink or small-up yourself,’ to suit or spare anybody’s ego. You are just as good as the men, and some may argue that you are even better, because you are woman.”

Ms Hylton, who delivered the keynote address, cautioned that she was not encouraging rivalry among the sexes in the Constabulary, but instead, making the point that women are “qualified and can qualify to lead the Force to the next frontier.”

“It is 2021, and I look forward to the day when I will have a woman police Commissioner,” she said after listing the names of women who have risen locally and internationally to positions of leadership, to underscore her point to her virtual audience.

The popular media figure also made a case for better pay for women of the constabulary, and recognition from their peers.

“I also want the [Police] Federation and the powers that be, to recognise the contribution of women to the force, and by extension Jamaica,” she said, commenting that women in the Force were expected to honour their social responsibilities, while, at the same time, perform their tasks equally as law enforcers, even when faced with monthly biological pressures.

“In the same way I encourage you all to ‘rise-up,’ I also want the salaries and benefits of the women in the JCF to ‘rise-up.’ It takes cash to care, and though monetary incentives are not the only way to convey gratitude, it is one our police women will not mind at all,” she said.

However, she also reminded the women of their mandate to serve with professionalism and dignity, as well as to lead by example.

“It is important that every case and each citizen is treated with respect and care, no matter the stratum of society from which they come,” she declared.

She also called women in the force to play a leadership role in neutralising violence against women and girls, noting that the level of violence against females are high; and urged female cops to play a nurturing role in their approach to law enforcement, to abate the harshness that encourages only more violence.

Also addressing the women of the Constabulary, Sandra Jones, manager of the Public Sector Engagement Unit at JN Bank, urged them to take care of themselves, so that they can look after others and the state.

“These are tough times ladies of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and we remind you that it is important for you to stay in touch with your mental and emotional needs, because you need to stay strong. Feed yourselves and build up your strength. Be women first and then police officers and personnel,” she advised.

Referencing advice from leading psychiatrist, Professor Wendel Abel, during a JN Circle forum hosted by the JN Group, of which JN Bank is a member company, she provided the women with tips on self-care.

Prevent Burn Out! It’s difficult in your jobs, but you must recognise that you are human beings with limits. You’re juggling many responsibilities. Pause and recalibrate,” she mentored the female cops.

She went on: “Take Time for Positive Affirmation. Speak well about yourself to yourself. Remind yourself constantly that you are doing your best and that you won’t do everything perfectly. These are stressful times.”

She also urged the women to talk through their problems and to seek counselling if necessary, reminding them that, “No woman is an island.” “Stay calm amid the chaos. More than anyone else, as police officers, you need to keep your cool, but you’re still human beings with emotions. However, don’t simply allow those emotions to fester. Come to terms with them by naming them, claiming them, and then taming them,” Mrs Jones urged.

“Finally, women we want you to survive, because your families need you; we need you, and your country needs you. Therefore, to achieve your best potential, you need to be alive in every sense of the word: physically, psychologically, emotionally, and financially,” she affirmed.

“It is my hope that these small bits of advice will ‘help you to find a way’ to navigate the continued challenges which we are all facing,” she concluded.

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