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New police unit coming - Commissioner announces merger of three divisions in fight against organised crime

Published:Saturday | January 3, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Senior Superintendent Clifford Chambers
Assistant Commissioner Devon Watkins.
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Livern Barrett, Staff Reporter

Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams is to announce the merger of three key divisions within the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to form an elite investigation unit that will be mandated to investigate major organised crime.

According to one source, the new unit will combine the Organised Crime Investigations Division (OCID), the Flying Squad and aspects of the Transnational Crime and Narcotics Division, and will be headed by Assistant Commissioner Devon Watkins.

Watkis has been the head of the JCFs Criminal Investigations Branch for the last 18 months, which saw murders and all other categories of serious crimes decline by 16 per cent.

One law enforcement source revealed that veteran crime fighter Senior Superintendent Cornwall Bigga Ford and Senior Superintendent Clifford Chambers will be drafted to lead critical aspects of the operations of the new unit.

Major announcements

The new unit is among several major announcements Williams is expected to make during a press conference to be held shortly.

Members of the Police High Command were tight-lipped about the changes, but a slew of transfers announced in the weekly Force Orders released yesterday seemed to confirm the reports.

The transfers had Watkis and Ford going to OCID, effective January 15.

Assistant Commissioner Ealan Powell will replace Watkis in his second stint as head of the CIB.

Other notable transfers include Assistant Commissioner Norman Heywood, who moves from the Research, Planning and Legal Services Branch to the National Police College (NPCJ) at Twickenham Park in St Catherine; Assistant Commissioner Bishop Gary Welch, who moves from the NPCJ to the Community Safety and Security Branch, and Senior Superintendent Glen Hudson, who moves from the Services Branch to the Area 2 Headquarters.