Riot Gear for Dept of Correctional Services

Photo: Michael Sloley Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr. (left); Commissioner of Corrections, Ina Hunter (centre); and United States Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Luis Moreno, examine riot gear donated by the US Government to the Department of Correctional Services during a ceremony at 122 East Street in Kingston on February 8.

Story Highlights

  • The Department of Correctional Services has received 700 pieces of riot gear from the United States Government, valued at US$90,000.
  • The equipment, which will assist Correctional Officers in carrying out their duties and quelling disturbances which may arise in the facilities, includes: 100 riot batons, 100 riot baton holders, 100 riot helmets with visors, 50 handcuffs, 100 goggles, 50 metal detectors, 100 riot shields, and 100 raincoats with hoods.
  • They represent another tranche of donation to the country’s security forces by the United States (US) Government. In 2016, the US Government donated US$4 million to strengthen the country’s law enforcement capabilities.

The Department of Correctional Services has received 700 pieces of riot gear from the United States Government, valued at US$90,000.

The equipment, which will assist Correctional Officers in carrying out their duties and quelling disturbances which may arise in the facilities, includes: 100 riot batons, 100 riot baton holders, 100 riot helmets with visors, 50 handcuffs, 100 goggles, 50 metal detectors, 100 riot shields, and 100 raincoats with hoods.

They represent another tranche of donation to the country’s security forces by the United States (US) Government. In 2016, the US Government donated US$4 million to strengthen the country’s law enforcement capabilities.

Speaking at the official handover ceremony in Kingston on February 8, Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., said the donation will enhance the capabilities of the Department, while bringing it in line with international standards.

He said the acquisition of riot gear will provide an alternative for handling physical interactions with inmates which will protect the inmates and staff. “It will allow us to maintain control of the facilities while also observing the basic human rights,” he said.

The State Minister thanked the United States Government for assisting in the country’s crime-fighting efforts.

“The things that we have received are part and parcel of the discussions and deliberations that sometimes are initiated by our partners and it is very important to understand that this is the true meaning of commitment,” he said.

For his part, United States Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Luis Moreno, said the riot gear was donated in conjunction with training sessions. “These training sessions have included several years of instruction in how to handle riots efficiently and humanely, including mock riot simulations in West Virginia,” he said.

He added that the training sessions also included train-the-trainer workshop in institutional management.

“As part of this training, the Embassy has sent nearly 100 correctional officers to Colorado in the middle of the winter for training and we will send 30 more next month,” the Ambassador noted.

He said the training and equipment complement the work the USAID is doing in helping to improve the lives of children and juveniles in conflict with the law by increasing their chances of successfully reintegrating into society.

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