Madam Speaker, today I am making my fifth presentation to the Sectoral Debates as Minister of National Security. I assumed portfolio responsibility for this Ministry four years ago, with a newly appointed Commissioner of Police and the Government’s strategic decision to prioritize citizen security. Madam Speaker, this meant prioritizing budgetary support and institutional reorganization, in order to combat the persistent epidemic of crime.
Today, I want to give a hard and sober report on what we have done, what we are currently doing and what we are committed to do going forward. This is while accepting that the COVID-19 Pandemic has impaired activities for almost two of those years. Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the Almighty for his blessings, his grace and his protection over these four challenging years.
Special acknowledgement and thanks to Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, for his continued confidence in allowing me to serve in this capacity. I commend him for his steady and visionary leadership, especially during what has been, a very challenging period.
I wish to recognize, as well, my Cabinet colleagues and Members of Parliament on both sides of the aisle, with whom I have had the pleasure of working to improve the lives of the citizens of our country. I want to express my gratitude to Senator Matthew Samuda, who served as Minister without Portfolio up to January of this year. I commend him for the tremendous service he gave to the Ministry during his tenure.
Allow me to welcome Mr. Zavia Mayne as the Minister of State. He has taken on his various responsibilities with passion and zeal.
Thanks to Permanent Secretary, Mr. Courtney Williams, the senior management team and staff for their continued support and dedicated service, in advancing the policies and programmes of the Ministry.
My sincere gratitude to the heads of our various Agencies along with their staff, as well as the chairmen and members of boards, within the security architecture. Thank you for your commitment and invaluable contribution to the safety and security of the country.