JIS News

Toronto’s Chief of Police, Julian Fantino, will visit Jamaica from February 27 to March 3 to conclude discussions with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) on issues of mutual concern. The police chief will also deliver educational items and sporting goods to children he met in Kingston on his visit last year.
Accompanying Mr. Fantino will be a delegation of two police officers and 9,450 kilograms (21,000 pounds) of educational and sporting materials.
At a press conference held in Toronto on Wednesday, February 25, Chief Fantino said this was a follow-up to a visit he made a year ago in February 2003 at the invitation of Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips.
“While in Kingston, a number of mothers, teachers, community workers and members of the JCF asked if I could help provide them with paper, pencils, crayons, pens, erasers, workbooks and readers. They also expressed a need for sports equipment, basketball, baseballs and bats, footballs, t-shirts and hats,” said Chief Fantino, while addressing journalists on the tarmac of Pearson International Airport in Toronto.
The Chief explained that a team comprising members of the police services and reporters of Jamaican heritage who accompanied him last year, managed to collect enough items to pack into 658 boxes. Air Canada is flying the items free of cost to Jamaica. Captain Robert Giguere, Air Canada’s Executive Vice President of Operations said the total transportation cost was in the region of Cdn$20,000.
Jamaica’s Consul General to Toronto, Vivia Betton, thanked the Chief on behalf of the government and people of Jamaica for spearheading the initiative, noting that Canada and Jamaica had been partners and friends for a very long time and this initiative was one example of the cooperation shared at different levels between the two countries. “Education has always been a priority for the government and sports is one of the channels which has also received priority attention for channeling the energies of Jamaica’s young people,” said the Consul General.
Chief Fantino said he was pleasantly surprised by the response and thanked the sponsors for their generous donations, including several school boards, Roots Canada, National Gym and Toronto Public Library.
“Since the beginning of January members of the Toronto police service and the corporate and public sectors have generously donated sports equipment and educational materials in significant quantity. The Jamaica Constabulary Force has agreed to provide transportation of the materials in Jamaica and to assist us in distributing them directly to those in need,” he said.
While in Jamaica Chief Fantino will also attend Mass and the Police Officer of the Year Awards.

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