West gets the bulk of inducted constables
Western Jamaica, which is currently struggling to come to grips with a spate of ongoing lawlessness, has got the bulk of the 100 district constables who were recently inducted into the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
Following six weeks of training at the National Police College of Jamaica in Twickenham Park, St Catherine, the district constables, who were selected from the parishes of Kingston, Portland, St. Ann, St. James, Trelawny, and Westmoreland, and the JCF's Community Safety and Security Branch, were deployed last Tuesday.
The training programme for the district constables, which was a joint initiative with the Ministry of National Security, the Ministry of Tourism and the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), is primarily aimed at strengthening policing capacity in the island's resort areas.
In clear messages of optimism, both the Police High Command and TPDCo expressed confidence that the initiative, which will be an ongoing one, will put a significant dent in tourist harassment and crimes against foreign nationals.
In expressing a desire to see the initiative achieve the desired objective, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Glenmore Hinds, who was at the induction ceremony, pledged the support of the JCF in ensuring that all goes well with the venture.
"The JCF is in full support of securing the tourism product and enhancing the tourism experience. We are fully committed to this initiative and will protect all our citizens and all who enter our country," said Hinds.
In looking at the bigger picture from an economic perspective, Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of training at the National Police College of Jamaica Norman Heywood said the initiative has the potential to positively impact the number of tourists visiting the country, which, in turn, would boost economic development.
"As a training officer, I am pleased with the partnership between TPDco and the JCF to have district constables in the resort areas, and I hope it is the beginning of a more long-term partnership as this can only enhance security in tourist resort areas," said Heywood. "Hopefully, it will lead to more visitors, sustainable economic growth, and a higher sense of safety and security."
Marauding gunmen have been wreaking havoc in western Jamaica since the start of the year, resulting in close to 200 murders. While tourism interests have rejected a call for a state of emergency in the region, they have been crying out for increased police attention across the region.