Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, has reiterated the Government’s commitment to create the conditions for strategic transformation of the police force, so that Jamaicans can experience meaningful and sustained reduction in crimes.
He said the Government will continue to equip the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and provide the men and women of the Force with the tools they need to engage the criminals effectively and within the law.
“Over the next 12 months, we will continue our investment in the Force under the guidance of the police leadership, and I am positive that the country will see continual improvement in what is happening out there,” he said.
During a tour of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Harman Barracks facility, including the Specialised Operations branch and new dormitories today (August 4), the Minister noted that, to date, $500 million has been invested to improve the capacity and technological capability of the JCF at Harman Barracks.
Providing a breakdown, he said $100 million was spent to develop the barracks, which can provide accommodation for 150 persons. He noted that this was in partnership with the National Housing Trust (NHT).
Dr. Chang informed that $300 million was expended on acquiring vehicles to improve mobility of members of the Force, $50 million for general maintenance, more than $14 million for an operations room, more than $7 million to upgrade the air exchange, $12 million for electrical upgrade, and $50 million on technology to integrate information.
He said these investments are critical to improving the country’s crime outcomes and sustaining a downward trend in homicides.
Dr. Chang noted that members of the Force are being equipped with the tools of surveillance and the communication systems to respond in real time. “No modern police force can run without modern technology,” he added.
In the meantime, he said establishment of the Specialised Operations branch last year has resulted in tangible and impactful results. The branch was created following the restructuring of the Mobile Reserve.
“This Government continues to implement strategic changes to the security architecture in an effort to strengthen the capabilities and respond appropriately and efficiently in tackling crime, violence and corruption,” he said.