Minister of National Security, Derrick Smith, has said that the government will be intensifying the fight against the illicit drug trade.
“A change of administration does not in any way mean a change of course in relation to the country’s fight against the narcotics trade. In fact, what it means is full speed ahead against the drug traffickers and all those involved in the drug trade,” Mr. Smith said, as he addressed a graduation exercise on Friday (Sept. 21) at the Caribbean Regional Drug Law Enforcement Training Centre (REDTRAC) in Twickenham Park.
Turning to a recent report from the United States government, which lists Jamaica among the major drug producing and transhipment countries, the National Security Minister pledged to work to remove Jamaica from the list.
He noted however that the developed countries, where the drugs are being shipped, must do more to fight the global narcotics trade, in terms of providing countries with aid and other assistance.
In the meantime, Minister Smith lauded the work of REDTRAC, which since 1996, has provided training in narcotics investigation for more than 5,000 personnel across the Caribbean. These include members of the police and military, customs and immigration officers, port security personnel, and computer technology experts.
The training providing by REDTRAC, he noted, “has greatly reduced our dependence on other countries for training, produced greater cost effectiveness in satisfying the training needs of the participating countries and improved relationship between regional law enforcement bodies and co-operation between governments.”
The National Security Minister charged the 58 graduates to uphold the standards of ethics and professionalism as they carried out their work. “Always wear your professionalism as a badge of honour as our people are demanding that their public servants show integrity and professionalism in carrying out their work and that you treat people with the utmost respect irrespective of their position in life and that you give your best at all times,” he said.
The participants were drawn from 11 territories across the region including Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Turks and Caicos Islands, Montserrat, British Virgin Islands, St. Kitts and Nevis and the Cayman Islands.