Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Maintenance protocol in place for newly acquired police vehicles

Published:Saturday | July 8, 2017 | 7:00 AM
National Security Minister Robert Montague (right) presents the key for one of 30 used cars handed over to the Jamaica Constabulary Force, on Monday, to Deputy Commissioner of Police Clifford Blake (centre) at the Police Commissioner's Old Hope Road, St Andrew office. Looking on is Assistant Commissioner Devon Watkis.

Head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force's (JCF) Transport and Repair Division, Superintendent Jacqueline Coombs, says a maintenance system is in place to ensure that the 37 motor vehicles which have been brought into the island since December 2016, to supplement the fleet of the police force, are properly serviced and maintained on an ongoing basis.

She was speaking on Monday during the handover of the latest fleet of 24 cars, which is part of 200 additional vehicles to be imported into the island for the JCF.

Coombs pointed out that each police division had a maintenance protocol system to monitor and maintain vehicles assigned to each area.

"We have a maintenance protocol which is carried out by all divisions, which outlines that all vehicles be serviced at 5,000 km, or earlier, depending on special circumstances. It also documents and monitors the work that has been done on any vehicle and the costs associated with these repairs. My team at the Transport and Repair Division also conducts regular inspections to ensure that vehicles are kept in good working condition," she said.

Speaking at the event, Minister of National Security Robert Montague said although divisional commanders had overall responsibility for the vehicles assigned to their areas, officers tasked with operating the vehicles are also held equally responsible.

"An officer is required to send an SMS to the relevant divisional commander to inform him or her when the car is due for servicing. If an officer has a mishap or accident while driving a service vehicle, an investigation is undertaken, during which the officer is suspended from duty. If it is found that the officer is negligent, the repair costs for the service vehicle are deducted from his/her salary," Montague said.

The minister also noted that the Government had been putting measures in place to ensure that the mobility level of the police force remained at what he described as a "comfortable level".

Montague said the additional police vehicles are part of the strategy to reduce crime, by allowing for increased police patrols, as well as a more effective response time. He also noted that there would be an increase in police presence in many communities which will, over the long term, lead to better citizen-police relationships.