Thu | Mar 22, 2018

Cut gang pipeline, says Portmore crime fighter

Published:Wednesday | December 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Jason McKay

JASON MCKAY has spent most of his life fighting crime, one way or another, first as a young man alongside his father as a security officer before establishing his own business, McKay Security Limited, and later joining the Jamaica Constabulary Force as a district constable.

Having spent close to 25 years putting his life at risk, battling some of the most dangerous criminals in the country including murderers, kidnappers and extortionists, who had a hand in the death of one of his employees at Caymanas Park, McKay is convinced the way to strangle the crime monster is to cut off its supply chain - at-risk inner-city youths.

"If you're teaching them tae kwon do to get them disciplined or fighting them in the streets of St Catherine, it's the same objective, cutting off the pipeline of human resources to the gangs," explained the veteran martial artist, whose company sponsors the McKay Security High School Martial Arts League.

McKay Security is also set to launch its Logical Training Programme in January, targeting boys attending inner-city schools. The programme is geared to ensure students graduate with a logical skill such as operating a vehicle, which will help them to obtain employment.

"By the time they graduate, they would either qualify as forklift operators, tractor-trailer drivers, crane drivers or simply holders of driver's licences, depending on competency," he explained.

Renowned by gangsters in Portmore as a no-nonsense security officer even before he joined the constabulary, McKay's two-decade-long war against gangs in St Catherine had him encountering gangsters establishing illegal off-track betting parlours to fund their activities, in addition to extortion attempts at the Caymanas Park race track.

He said he has seen the influence of a gangland lifestyle as youths grow out of diapers into 'top shottas'.

"They are the primary source of the problem. They're the ones who get involved in the drugs-for-guns trade and other very serious crimes. We hear and see it on the news every day.

"The Government has its hands full because it's a never-ending supply of idle hands, that's the real reason why successive governments can do very little to stop them," he pointed out.

"Imagine, we have a health sector that's falling apart while we have to allocate so much money towards national security," he added.

"I have tried various things like offering employment, especially to single mothers as security officers, hoping they are able to pass on their training to their sons and daughters, too, because they also play a big role where crime is concerned, offering protection to criminals," McKay pointed out.

"However, there are times when, regrettably, you have to fight fire with fire, especially when your life is at risk. I have been in many such instances, and you'd be surprised to know the age of who is at the other end, firing assault rifles at you," he added.