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  • A review is currently being done of the deployment of personnel at the VIP Protection Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
  • This was disclosed by Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, at the sitting of the House of Representatives on January 27.
  • Mr. Bunting noted that with a total of 544 personnel, the VIP Protection Division is among the largest units in the JCF, assigning approximately 50 per cent of its staff as Close Protection Officers (CPOs) to protect 172 officials, including cabinet ministers, parliamentarians, judges and magistrates and holders of some public offices.

A review is currently being done of the deployment of personnel at the VIP Protection Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

This was disclosed by Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, at the sitting of the House of Representatives on January 27.

Mr. Bunting noted that with a total of 544 personnel, the VIP Protection Division is among the largest units in the JCF, assigning approximately 50 per cent of its staff as Close Protection Officers (CPOs) to protect 172 officials, including cabinet ministers, parliamentarians, judges and magistrates and holders of some public offices.

“This significant deployment must be balanced against the reality that there are several police stations unable to adequately cover their police districts because fewer than 10 officers staff them,” he said.

Mr. Bunting noted that over many years, the JCF has deviated from the criteria for the assignment of CPOs to VIPs, resulting in a considerable growth in the VIP Protection Division.

He explained that CPOs have been assigned without the conduct of threat assessments, as well as the automatic assignment of CPOs even when no security threat exists. He added that CPOs have also been engaging in a variety of roles that have nothing to do with security, such drivers or to assist with a variety of domestic chores.

“Currently, a review of the CPO assignments is underway and it is based primarily on security threat and risk assessments of the VIPs being protected. Several observations have been made, including that some VIPs are going to many events without their CPOs,” Mr. Bunting said.

He noted that on completion of the current risk/threat assessments, CPOs will be assigned based on need.

“Except for the Governor-General, the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers, the Leader of the Opposition and former prime ministers, all the assignment of CPOs will be based on recommendations informed by the threat assessment. Where it is revealed that threat levels are not significant, officers will be redeployed to augment the personnel at geographical divisions,” Mr. Bunting informed.

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