Comprehensive Reform Programme Will Ensure More Effective National Security System – Minister MacMillan


Minister of National Security, Senator Colonel Trevor MacMillan has said that the most urgent priority in the comprehensive programme of reform is to expand the administrative, operational and technological capacity of the security forces.
“This is the first order of business if we are to develop the capacity to enforce the law, reduce violent crime, restore public order and sustain a safe environment in which citizens can pursue all legal activities without fear and free from fear,” Senator Colonel MacMillan said, during his contribution to the State of the Nation Debate on Friday (Jan. 23).
Senator MacMillian added that during his tenure as Commissioner of Police, he had strongly recommended that necessary steps be taken to bring the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) up to 12,000 as a matter of priority.
“The situation is even more urgent today. We must also ensure that the training courses delivered, adequately address the question of capacity and competence. As long as the capacity of the police force remains at the present level, all plans and initiatives, new and old, will never be effectively implemented,” he stated.
The Minister noted that the increase in budgetary allocation to national security in this fiscal year, which is the largest for any Ministry, has allowed the implementation process to begin in earnest.
“We are going to begin with the upgrading and expansion of the Police Academy at Twickenham Park, for which an allocation of $400 million was made in the fiscal year, 2008/2009. This will begin to address the inadequate maintenance of the training school over the last 15 years, which has restricted the ability of the JCF to accommodate adequate numbers of recruits,” Senator MacMillan said.
He further added that it will require another $1 billion to create an appropriate physical environment and to install the necessary equipment for the training of the JCF personnel to modern international standards. This work is to be undertaken over the next three years in collaboration with the United Kingdom Government.
The Security Minister also noted that the curriculum at the academy must provide a special focus on the training of management at all levels.
“The old system of creating a management cadre based solely on length of service has no place in a modern police force. Intermittent short courses will not suffice. There is no alternative to continuous and focussed training, if the men and women of the force are to be deployed and supervised effectively,” Senator MacMillan said.
He noted that in addition to the formal training courses, the continuous transfer of knowledge and experience, which comes with the recruitment of foreign experts, will augment the capacity-building process to deal with the levels of criminal activities.
“It is only on the foundation of a modern police force that the rest of the structure for law enforcement can be built and effectively utilised,” the Security Minister stated.

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