- The JCF has acquired 39 additional motor vehicles, valued at over $136 million.
- Purchasing was done from the $300 million which the Government has committed to boost the JCF’s mobile capability this year.
- Mr. Ellington said with this allocation and the additional vehicles that are expected in December, “we should have every police station with a fairly new functional police vehicle.”
The Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) operational capacity has been significantly strengthened by the acquisition of 39 additional motor vehicles, valued at over $136 million.
The vehicles, all Mitsubishi 4X4 twin-cab pick-ups, which were acquired through local dealership, Stewart Auto Sales Limited, were symbolically presented to the JCF Head, Police Commissioner, Owen Ellington, by National Security Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting, during a brief ceremony at the Commissioner’s Old Hope Road offices in St. Andrew, on October 8.
Purchasing was done from the $300 million which the Government has committed, through the Ministry of National Security, to boost the JCF’s mobile capability this year. This forms a pivotal part of the administration’s 2013/14 strategic priority focus on improving security and safety in Jamaica.
In his remarks, Mr. Bunting said the units represent the first set of vehicles being acquired for the JCF this year.
“A little over a month ago I made a statement to the House of Representatives that we (government) had placed orders for 70 motor cars, six mid-size SUVs, 44 pick-ups, and 13 600 cc motorbikes, as well as two 15-seater buses. I indicated then, that delivery would start within a month and it should be completed by the end of the year. So, this first handover represents the first tranche of those vehicles,” he noted.
Regarding motorbike acquisitions, Mr. Bunting explained that since 2012 efforts have been made to procure “much more substantial” units, equipped with 600 cc engines and outfitted with the appropriate kits, lights, and sirens, to replace the regular 200 cc versions. This emphasis, he explained, is aimed at enhancing police officers’ safety.
Mr. Bunting pointed out that last year the Government “invested significantly” in the mobility of the JCF, while assuring that they will continue this year.
Accepting the units and expressing gratitude for them, Commissioner Ellington advised of the JCF’s plans to “build out the patrol system in many of the territorial divisions” using the vehicles.
He pointed to several new overland routes being used by criminals to traverse the island, where “we intend to implement new patrol systems with these newly acquired assets.”
“We recognize that the criminals that we are up against have become far more mobile. They have the resources to acquire (vehicles), in order to move themselves all around the country where they create crime and insecurity. In order for the police to be ahead of them, if not on top of them, we need to continue to build out on Force mobility, which is such a crucial capability for us in Jamaica today,” the Commissioner said.
Mr. Ellington said with this allocation and the additional vehicles that are expected in December, “we should have every police station with a fairly new functional police vehicle.”