Sat | Feb 17, 2018

Cops to stop travelling on public-passenger vehicles

Published:Thursday | March 23, 2017 | 12:00 AMJason Cross
National security minister, Robert Montague (second left); and police federation chairman, Sergeant Raymond Wilson (third left), cut the ribbon to commission a new Mitsubishi Rosa bus, which the ministry donated to the federation on Monday. At left is the Acting Police Commissioner Novelette Grant. In the background (from left) are general secretary of the federation, Sergeant Cecil McCalla; executive member of the federation in charge of health, lifestyle and gender affairs, Detective Woman Inspector Carol Chisholm-Tyrell; State Minister for National Security, Senator Pearnel Charles Jr, and executive member of the federation, Detective Woman Constable Tameca Thomas.

Police officers in Kingston may no longer have to travel to and from work using the same transportation as regular members of the public, including criminals. This is because a 30-seat Mitsubishi Rosa bus was handed over to the Jamaica Police Federation on Monday.

The donation ceremony was held at the Ministry of National Security Ministry, and the bus has a value of J$7.8 million.

Chairman of the Police Federation, Raymond Wilson, was thankful to Minister of National Security Robert Montague for the bus, which he said was a necessity. In supporting his argument, Wilson did not hesitate to recall the tragic July 2015 incident, in which woman Constable Crystal Thomas was murdered on a public-passenger bus in Kingston while on her way home. She was shot dead by men staging a robbery on the bus.

"Mr Montague and his team, we want to thank you for your unrelenting support to the men and women of the JCF (Jamaica Constabulary Force). We have paid the ultimate sacrifice. When you are required to pursue criminals, and then you must travel with the same offenders, sometimes rubbing shoulders on the same vehicle driven by the traffic offender you may have prosecuted earlier ... ," Wilson said.

"It is this glaring fact that resulted in the gruesome murder of woman Constable Crystal Thomas, who was killed travelling home from work."

Montague stated that urgent consideration was given for the purchase of the bus while at the funeral of police Sergeant Judith Williams, who was murdered in April last year.

"I have been looking forward to this afternoon for a little while. I went to the funeral of policewoman Sergeant Judith Williams at the Seventh Day Adventist Church on Hagley Park Road and Sister Carlene (member of the Police Federation) relayed to me, on direct instruction from the chairman of the federation (the urgent need for) transportation of police officers," Montague said.