KINGSTON — The Jamaica Constabulary Force's (JCF) operational capacity has been significantly increased, with the acquisition of some 50 new motor vehicles and two motorcycles, at a cost of $120 million.
The units were acquired by the Ministry of National Security and were formally handed over by the Minister, Senator Dwight Nelson, to Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) for Administration, Jevene Bent, representing Police Commissioner Owen Ellington, at the Police Commissioner’s Office, Old Hope Road, Kingston on Monday April 4.
Senator Nelson said the acquisition of the vehicles is indicative of Government’s commitment to equip the JCF to reduce crime and violence with "optimum efficiency," while enhancing community relations.
He argued that development of a new “kind of rapport” between the JCF and communities could not be accomplished if police personnel are ill-equipped. He asserted the administration’s determination to provide equipment, ranging from motor vehicles to protective equipment, to ensure that the force is capable of carrying out its mandate.
The Minister said that this is intended to bring about a “sustained post-modern era” of efficient service, readily available to the public.
He also observed that there was no doubt, “and it has been established anecdotally and scientifically,” that the people of Jamaica are developing a greater level of confidence in the police, and the mistrust, hopefully, will soon be totally eliminated.
"We are forging ahead to accomplish this, despite those who would, through their negative pronouncements, seek to prevent and hinder this development," he said.
He noted the budgetary challenges facing the administration, and acknowledged the need for regular upgrading and replacement of JCF units.
"The men and women of the security forces must be adequately equipped to tackle criminality, and to carry out law enforcement activities in all their forms," he asserted.
Alluding to some 400 vehicles which, Commissioner Ellington had revealed, are currently out of service for various reasons, the Minister said efforts are being made to rehabilitate the repairable ones.
“We will continue…to work assiduously to provide the resources to the security forces, as we work together to eradicate crime," Senator Nelson assured.
DCP Bent said the units are a welcomed addition to the JCF's fleet, stressing that without the vehicles the JCF would not be able to continue the work it has been doing, in dealing with crime.
By DOUGLAS McINTOSH, JIS Reporter