JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says the Government is committed to ensuring that the security forces are adequately equipped to carry out the task of protecting the nation.
  • Dr. Chang, who was delivering the keynote address at the opening of the Burke Barracks in Providence, St. James, on May 14, said that despite the financial constraints, the Government is already putting the necessary infrastructure in place where the “brave men and women of the security forces” can meet the challenge of bringing crime under control.
  • It is to this end, the Minister said, that the new Burke Barracks accommodation, to be constructed in two phases at a combined cost of $1.6 billion to house 528 members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), represents a powerful statement as to the level of commitment “in taking the fight to criminals”.

Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says the Government is committed to ensuring that the security forces are adequately equipped to carry out the task of protecting the nation.

Dr. Chang, who was delivering the keynote address at the opening of the Burke Barracks in Providence, St. James, on May 14, said that despite the financial constraints, the Government is already putting the necessary infrastructure in place where the “brave men and women of the security forces” can meet the challenge of bringing crime under control.

It is to this end, the Minister said, that the new Burke Barracks accommodation, to be constructed in two phases at a combined cost of $1.6 billion to house 528 members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), represents a powerful statement as to the level of commitment “in taking the fight to criminals”.

“Phase one has been built at a cost of $708 million and will house 264 persons. Phase 2 will be built at an additional $896 million and will house another 264 JDF personnel. I can also report to you that this will be done within budget and also on time,” the Minister said.

Dr. Chang argued that the housing accommodation comes at a critical time, citing the States of Emergency (SOEs) currently in place in the western parishes of St. James, Hanover and Westmoreland.

He added that the men and women of the JDF must also be commended for their level of professionalism and the quality work they have been doing to ensure the safety and protection of residents during “these trying times”.

Dr. Chang said that already, the country is seeing great improvement since the SOEs came into effect, noting that over the past 12 days, there have been only two reported homicides, when compared “to the almost two per day we were having”.

“I want to personally congratulate the men and women of the JDF and also those in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) for their bravery and unwavering support for the new enhanced crime-fighting measures in the three parishes,” the Minister noted.

Dr. Chang, in the meantime, said that the JDF continues to play a major role in protecting the nation’s coastlines, notably in areas such as drug transhipment and human trafficking.

“These are very critical areas that we have been working with our international partners to bring under control. In this regard, the JDF Coast Guard has been playing an active role,” he added.