KINGSTON — Minister of National Security, Senator the Hon. Dwight Nelson, handed over 86 vehicles to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) on Tuesday (November 22), to increase its mobility.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony at the Police Commissioner's office in Kingston, Senator Nelson said that the mobility of the security forces is a paramount objective of the Government.
The Government is spending over $250 million to purchase 111 vehicles, of which 25 will be handed to the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), and Senator Nelson said the commitment is to ensure that the security forces are suitably equipped to carry out their public safety roles.
"I have made sure that we have spent money and repaired some 97 police stations, and built three new ones. My mission is to ensure that the police officer, when he goes on the road, he is mobile," he added.
The purchase of the vehicles by the Ministry followed requests from both the Commissioner of Police and the Chief of Defence Staff. The vehicles, which include Suzuki Jimnys, Grand Vitaras and VW Amoraks, bring to nearly 700 the number of vehicles provided for the JCF over the last four years.
Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington, said the JCF is putting great emphasis on responsible and disciplined use of the vehicles in their control. He also cautioned that they are for official police work, and that the current purchases also ensures that there are spare parts to keep the vehicles on the road for at least three months after their commissioning.
He added that there is a programme of taking old equipment, repairing them, keeping them in safe storage and putting them back onto new vehicles, which has saved the Government millions of dollars.
"The Government and people have the assurance that these vehicles are going to be used for enhancement of the quality of service that we deliver to communities. We will take care of them, as best as we can. We will constantly remind our members to operate them with due care and caution, so that they can last us for a long time," Mr. Ellington said.
By Garfield Angus, JIS Reporter