Jamaica National Service Corps Recruits Being Deployed to St. Catherine North Police Division

Story Highlights

  • A total of 241 participants in the Jamaica National Service Corps (JNSC) programme will be deployed to assist the security forces with operations in the St. Catherine North Police Division where a State of Public Emergency is now in effect.
  • This was disclosed by Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Rocky Meade, during a press conference on Sunday (March 18) at Jamaica House, at which Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, declared the enhanced security operation.
  • He noted that the level of training and experience JNSC personnel have acquired so far, made them well suited for increased levels of involvement in the forces’ security operations.

A total of 241 participants in the Jamaica National Service Corps (JNSC) programme will be deployed to assist the security forces with operations in the St. Catherine North Police Division where a State of Public Emergency is now in effect.

This was disclosed by Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Rocky Meade, during a press conference on Sunday (March 18) at Jamaica House, at which Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, declared the enhanced security operation.

Noting that the JNSC participant’s involvement is a “very important feature” of security measures underway, Major General Meade argued that “they will learn from our more experienced soldiers in a major real world, real life security scenario.”

He noted that the level of training and experience JNSC personnel have acquired so far, made them well suited for increased levels of involvement in the forces’ security operations.

“They will be used primarily for operational support and administration,” he informed, while thanking the participants for “their extremely valuable contribution to national security”.

The brainchild of Prime Minister Holness, JNSC programme aims to create an avenue for young people, ages 18 to 23, to be fully empowered through national service.

Over a one-year period, the youngsters undergo a modified version of the Jamaica Defence Force’s (JDF) traditional basic military training and receive on-the-job instruction in various aspects of the JDF’s operational units including the Coast Guard, Air Wing and Engineering Regiment.

Additionally, they benefit from vocational and life skills training.

Upon completion, the participants are given the opportunity to continue as soldiers in the JDF or join the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Department of Correctional Services (DCS) or become security guards.

The JNSC is part of the Learn, Earn, Give back and Save (LEGS) Programme, which aims to assist young people who, by virtue of their circumstances, have become unattached.

The initiative falls under the Government’s Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) initiative, targeting job and training opportunities for unattached youth.

The decision to declare the State of Public Emergency in the St. Catherine North Police Division became necessary as crime and violence, particularly murders, have been escalating in that region.

The area has recorded 49 murders since the start of the year, due mainly to gang activity.

A joint JCF/ JDF team was deployed to the area on Sunday to undertake enhanced security measures for an initial 14 days, in accordance with the Emergency Powers Act.

The Proclamation under the Emergency Powers Act to bring the enhanced security measures into effect was signed by Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, and has been gazetted.

The State of Public Emergency in St. Catherine North is the second such following a similar declaration in St. James in January.

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