JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, has charged newly deployed Immigration Officers to ensure the protection of Jamaica’s borders, while also helping guests to enjoy what the country has to offer.
  • The Minister, who was delivering the main address at a graduation ceremony for the officers, on December 8, at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in New Kingston, said while their tasks are to manage aspects of security, their training has equipped them to promote hospitality.
  • The training covered laws governing PICA’s operations, as well as Jamaica’s border management system, immunity and privileges, trafficking in persons, court procedures, and customer service.

Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, has charged newly deployed Immigration Officers to ensure the protection of Jamaica’s borders, while also helping guests to enjoy what the country has to offer.

The Minister, who was delivering the main address at a graduation ceremony for  the officers, on December 8, at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in New Kingston, said while their tasks are to manage aspects of security, their training has equipped them to promote hospitality.

“As Immigration Officers, you are on the frontlines in the mission to keep unwanted and dangerous persons from entering Jamaica, but you are also on the frontline of our hospitality industry,” he told the 39 new officers, who were trained under the auspices of the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), to which they are now employed.

The training covered laws governing PICA’s operations, as well as Jamaica’s border management system, immunity and privileges, trafficking in persons, court procedures, and customer service.

Mr. Bunting said the officers have come at a time “to increase our complement of Immigration Officers, in time for the start of the winter tourist season, and so improve our capacity to handle the increased number of Jamaicans arriving at our airports to spend Christmas in Jamaica.”

The Sangster International Airport, in Montego Bay, has been assigned 23 of the officers, while the Norman Manley International Airport, in Kingston, has 16.

Mr. Bunting told the audience that his Ministry has a strategic priority to recruit and train the right persons for positions in all departments.

The Minister said the pursuit of the Ministry is to enable the effective handling of emerging challenges to the safety of the country, and its citizens, citing issues such as:  transnational criminal organisations and their ability to operate across borders, and the threat of terrorism, “which must always be factored into our security strategy and operations.”

“Protecting our borders and confronting these new threats require a multi-agency and multifaceted approach. This understanding has guided the Ministry in our ongoing efforts to develop strategies and build capacity to better prepare for these threats, and to effectively confront them,” Mr. Bunting added.

Lauding the many strides that PICA has made in recent times to improve customer satisfaction, he said the agency is one of the lead bodies in protecting the country’s borders.