Custodes have key role in maintaining law and order - PM
Prime Minister Andrew Holness says the country's custodes and justices of the peace (JPs) must play their part in allowing Jamaica to return to the peaceful, loving society it once was. He has reminded them that they have a key role in maintaining law and order in the society.
He was speaking at last Thursday's installation of eminent dermatologist Dr Patricia Marshall Dunwell as custos rotolorum of St Andrew at the Annuals Gardens of Hope Gardens.
Holness noted that the public officials, who serve at the parish level, form the "framework of rebuilding Jamaica as a peaceful, loving and dignified society".
He indicated that the Ministry of Justice had been working closely with custodes and justices of the peace to encourage greater collaboration between the police and citizens.
He noted further that the ministry would be taking steps to increase the number of JPs across the island and to improve their training to enable them to more effectively perform their roles in mediation, restorative justice, and conflict resolution.
He lauded the new custos - a much sought-after lecturer internationally - for embracing the spirit of volunteerism, hard work, dedication, focus, and discipline in all that she did.
"Dr Marshall Dunwell is no stranger to service, having given back to her country in many ways, and it is only fitting that she has been called to be custos," Holness said.
Governor General Sir Patrick Allen commended Marshall Dunwell on her appointment, urging her to carry out her duties well and to make an impact, particularly as it related to youth empowerment.
He noted that the Governor General's Programme of Excellence (GGPE) provided a "broad platform to inculcate in young people the values to eschew the things negative about Jamaica and to embrace what is helpful for our growth and development".
In her response, Marshall Dunwell said she felt honoured and humbled by the appointment and pledged to work diligently. She said her goal was to see St Andrew achieve "most peaceful parish" status and called on the 1,500 JPs in St Andrew to assist in that regard through mediation to prevent some of the violence that often occurs.
"It is my intention to place focus on heightened mediation and counselling at the community level. We must act to bring peace to even the smallest misgivings," she said.
"Unity must be a significant aspect of our existence. We must ask ourselves what we need to do to contribute to growth and development in our communities and challenge ourselves to be better neighbours, citizens, families, and friends so that we can have happy, law-abiding, peaceful, and prosperous communities."