117 Persons Graduate from Gun Control Course


Some 117 local law enforcement border control personnel graduated from a special two-week training course at the Police Academy in Twickenham Park, St. Catherine on June 6.
The course was aimed at strengthening the capabilities of the officers to stem the illegal trafficking in guns, gun parts, ammunition and explosives.
Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Arthur Williams, who spoke at the graduation, said the training of the border patrol officials was an excellent innovation, one that would definitely have an impact.
He said the Government and the society at large are alarmed at the high importation rate of illegal guns.
“They (the guns) come in through the legal as well as the illegal channels. Every time we take 100 off the streets, 200 come in. We have to end that, we have to do everything that we can to reduce the volume coming in and bring this thing under control,” he said.
Senator Williams told JIS News that there was every intention to continue and strengthen the training programme.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Linval Bailey said that training the 117 law enforcement officials in firearm detection strategies should not be viewed as the remedy to end the illicit trafficking, rather as one in a package of efforts that should come together to solve the problem.
He said it was now important that the training be spread throughout the participating agencies at every level. “So, at the cradle you have it, at the in-service you have, in the divisions you have it, so everyone sings from the same hymn sheet,” he added. Mr. Bailey pointed out that a similar training programme was held in Trinidad and Tobago, and that others are planned by the United Nations (UN) for other territories.
One of the graduates, Nicklett Stewart-Grey from Jamaica Customs, said the training has prepared them to tackle the illicit trade. She says of significance was the fact that persons from across the island participated and they were exposed to the various part of a firearm.
“On a day-to-day basis we inspect shipments and usually are unable to identify gun parts shipped among motor vehicle parts. So, there are various things that our eyes have been opened to and of their significance,” she said.

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