JIS News

Forty two Port Security Officers have been added to the existing cadre of officers employed by the Port Security Corps, as part of continuous efforts to strengthen the security capabilities at the nation’s ports.
A graduation ceremony for the security officers, representing Batch 107 of the Port Security Corps, was held recently at the Corps’ downtown Kingston offices.
Chief Executive Officer of the Police Civilian Oversight Authority, Richard Black, who was the guest speaker at the function, urged the officers to be vigilant and uncompromising in their efforts to protect the nation’s ports and by extension the citizens of Jamaica.
“Our air and seaports are the gateways to our nation. You are therefore going to be the first line of defence for this country; nothing should break that line,” Mr. Black stated. He notified the officers of the increasingly clever tactics of criminal masterminds, whom he said, are consistently developing techniques to undermine the nation’s security system. “You need to develop that nose that senses that something is wrong,” he urged.
Mr. Black noted that the drug and ammunition trade in Jamaica has become interminable, with the proliferation of illicit arms and drug trafficking proving quite harmful to the nation’s national security. This, he said, has vastly contributed to Jamaica’s spiralling crime problem, where gangs are fighting turf wars and are turning on law abiding citizens.
“Jamaica really needs you to play your part in stemming the tide of some of the ills that are affecting us. Your duties are many, but your responsibility is mainly one to protect and defend our nation,” he pointed out.
Mr. Black implored the graduates to exercise professionalism, self control and courtesy, elements of good security, in executing their daily duties. He also warned them to guard against unscrupulous characters, who will try to manoeuvre or bribe them into turning a blind eye to illicit activities.
“A weapon allowed in the country because of orchestrated negligence can be the same one that is used to separate you from the “little smalls” or take the life of a family member,” he warned, noting that a lot of the problems Jamaica faces today, is as a result of those who compromised their integrity and that of the nation’s security system.
“It’s not just a work. Consider it as entering a profession and making a commitment to doing it right and doing it well,” he emphasized, adding, “the bottom line is that integrity is not something that can be taught; it is a conscious choice that you have to make. It is a personal choice.”
The graduation ceremony signalled the officers’ completion of four weeks of an intensive 12-week training programme in areas such as industrial safety, maritime security, police procedures, public relations, aviation security, access control, observation theory, arrest procedure, statement and report writing, as well as recognition of explosive devices.
The assessment of the officers will continue with the deployment of 32 officers to the Norman Manley International Airport, seven to APM Terminal and three to the Kingston Free Zone.
The Port Security Corps was incorporated in 1989 to safeguard all publicly owned ports and airports throughout Jamaica. Its main objectives include preventing unauthorized access to restricted areas of air, seaports and all other locations and preventing the entry and exit of contraband in and out of the island and creating an atmosphere conducive to the safety of workers, passenger vessels, air craft and all legitimate port users.