Mon | Nov 20, 2017

New police SUVs fitted with tracking devices

Published:Saturday | August 26, 2017 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke
Robert Montague, minister of national security, walks through a line of new police vehicles at the police commissioner’s office. Beside him is Corporal Juven Brown, stationed at Kingston Central, who has been serving the Jamaica Constabulary Force for more than 26 years.

The 24 brand new Suzuki Vitara sports utility vehicles (SUVs), valued at $33 million and which were presented to police divisional commanders yesterday, have been outfitted with tracking devices, National Security Minister Robert Montague has said.

This was done, according to the minister, to put an end to allegations making the rounds that the constabulary's limited assets are being used for personal errands.

"I want to debunk that. These vehicles were fitted with tracking devices because there is this allegation that police personnel are using government assets for personal purposes," said Montague, in handing over the keys to the units at the office of the police commissioner.

"We have had trackers placed in all of them in order to say that the vehicle was at wherever location and at whatever time, doing what it ought to be doing on behalf of the taxpayers of this country," he added.

 

Accountability the "new practice"

 

In pointing to the positives of procuring the 24 SUVs, Montague noted that it was expected to make accountability the "new practice" of divisional commanders in serving the people of Jamaica.

"Every day the police have three shifts. Each shift has a shift commander, a person responsible for everyone on duty on that shift. Right now, they sit at division headquarters and use the radio or the telephones to find out what's happening. Those days are over," Montague stated.

"They being mobile, they can now visit the station, they can check the station diary, check the records, they can check on prisoners, and check the assets. They can go into the community and interact with the persons to see about quality service delivery."

All physical assets of the force will now be placed under greater scrutiny, the minister added.

In addition, he said that police personnel have been reminded of the policy, which indicates that in the case that one of the vehicles is damaged, if found culpable, deductions will be made from salaries to effect repairs.

A maintenance package for all 24 vehicles is in place through the supplier.

PM won't be rushed on special zones - Montague

National Security Minister Robert Montague says that concerns over the naming of the first zone of special operations will come in due time, as the prime minister is taking his time to get it right.

"The zones are getting very special attention and priority of the Government and the prime minister, sitting in council (National Security Council) will be treating with that," Montague said.

"He is actively doing it as the conceptualiser of the whole initiative, and we say to the country, we are dotting the 'I's and crossing the T's'".

Montague, who was on hand at the police commissioner's office yesterday to hand over 24 brand new Suzuki Vitaras to divisional commanders, said that Prime Minister Andrew Holness would not bow to irresponsible and irrational demands.

"Really, of a fact, the prime minister is very methodical. He's taking his time and he will not be rushed, but it (special zones) will be done," Montague said.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com