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JIS News

The Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry has announced plans to undertake an inventory of all abandoned buildings in the city, with the aim of transforming them into community and homework centres for young people as well as police posts and stations.
Chamber president Mark Kerr-Jarrett, who made the announcement as he addressed the opening session of the Jamaica Police Federation’s 62nd annual conference on Tuesday (May 31) at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort, noted also, that the private sector would be seeking partnership with the government in designing a crime strategy for St. James, which would include putting in proper roads, street lights and street names, “so the police can effectively police these areas in an effort to bring crime under control.”
The Chamber president further observed, that winning the battle against crime and violence, required increased partnerships between the police and citizens.
“We believe that if you as the police are to get information from the community in the fight against crime, there is going to be a high level of trust between yourselves and the community. You can only gain trust.by getting back into the communities on a daily basis and creating the relationships for the information to flow”, he stated.
Turning to the contentious salary issue, Mr. Kerr-Jarrett said it was important that the police were paid at a level to prevent them from being corrupted. He urged the police to display high levels of integrity to regain the trust and the confidence of the public.
In his greetings, Opposition Spokesman on National Security, Derrick Smith, suggested that the government treat the police salary issue as a “special case”, in view of the serious crime situation in the country and the critical role the force played in protecting life and property.
“We are currently in a crisis in this country as we are being overrun by criminals and we need the police to protect and serve now more than ever. I recognize your service and your bravery and can only encourage you to continue and to even seek to increase your brave efforts because the country is in dire straights. This country owes deep respect and gratitude to you all, the men and women of the security force”, Mr. Smith told the officers.
He called on the members of the Force to take steps now to expose those among them who were corrupt, noting that the dishonest members would defeat the gains of decent, law-abiding officers.
The three-day conference is being held under the theme: ‘Creating unity through partnerships for better Opportunities’. Top on the agenda for discussion are: the on-going salary negotiations, a 40-hour workweek, the police welfare fund, and equipment and resources for effective policing.