Mr. Speaker, my esteemed colleagues, I wish to acknowledge the confidence reposed in me by the Most Honourable Prime Minister, Andrew Holness and the Honourable Minister of National Security, Dr. Horace Chang to share on the national security portfolio for the country.

I wish to pay special thank you to the former Ministers of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague and Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr. both of whom did a tremendous job. I wish them success in their new roles.

I wish to also commend you, Mr. Speaker for your skilful and erudite marshalling of the proceedings of the Lower House of our Parliament; and to my esteemed fellow colleagues on both sides of the aisle, whose passion and commitment to the people of Jamaica continue to be invaluable.

To my family, whom I go home to at the end of difficult and triumphant days to find warmth, solace and comfort, I am grateful! The wheels of the Office of the Minister of State do not turn on its own. I want to give special thanks to my staff – Ms. Young, Ms. Riddell, Ms. Brown, Mr. Wright and all the Close Protection Officers who contribute to making our efforts successful.

Mr. Speaker, I also wish to recognize the Permanent Secretary, Ms. Dianne McIntosh and staff of the Ministry of National Security, and the leadership and staff of the Ministry’s Departments and Agencies.

Of particular note, I wish to highlight the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) and the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force (JCCF), for which I have direct responsibility.

The DCS is led by Commissioner, Ina Hunter and is staffed by over 2,000 committed men and women, who manage the day-to-day custodial and probation services of the DCS.

At the JCCF, Commandant Johnson and his team continue to support opportunities for positive youth development in cadets across the island.

I wish to offer my unreserved appreciation for their important work under very demanding and difficult conditions, as part of the comprehensive efforts of the Ministry of National Security to keep our country safe.


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