Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says residents in St. James have expressed satisfaction with the recent State of Emergency (SOE) and have asked for the police’s presence to continue.
Speaking at the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Passing out Parade and Awards Ceremony for Batch 119, at the National Police College in St. Catherine on January 30, Dr. Chang said there is a general feeling of gratitude and welcome of the police within the communities.
“Today, the call is, ‘Minister, can you continue to keep the police here in the communities? Please, ensure they stay with us, even as the SOE ends’,” Dr. Chang noted.
The Minister said this response illustrates the hard work of the security forces in the society and the difference the SOE made in the lives of many persons.
“That’s a dramatic transformation, and the leadership of the men and women of the police force facing very challenging and difficult circumstances, I say commendations to you,” Dr. Chang added.
On December 11, the Opposition voted against the extension of the three SOEs in St. James (imposed on January 18, 2018); sections of Kingston Western, Kingston Central and St. Andrew South police divisions (imposed on September 23, 2018) and St. Catherine North (imposed on March 18, 2018). As a result, all three SOEs came to an end in January.
The Minister emphasised that the JCF will continue to be of assistance to communities which were a part of the SOE.
“Despite the removal of the special operations, the team in the Jamaica Constabulary Force will ensure that we continue that trend to reduce homicides and ensure the peace and safety of our citizens,” he said.
At the ceremony, 194 new police constables were officially welcomed into the JCF and will be stationed in different divisions across the island.