Be willing to surrender some rights, says pastor
Indicating his willingness to give support to the zones of special operations, Bishop Conrad Pitkin, head of the Jamaica Association of Full Gospel Churches, has appealed to his fellow clergymen to offer their cooperation where needed.
The Zones of Special Operations Act provides for special security measures in high crime areas while simultaneously ensuring social intervention and community development.
The bishop, who pastors the Faith Temple Assembly of God in the crime-riddled city of Montego Bay, also cautioned citizens to be in a state of readiness to surrender some of their rights for the greater good of the country.
"I think we can also play a positive role wherever a committee is formed and a minister of religion is placed on that committee, because you have to deal with humans rights. That would be part of our concern; to ensure that the rights of our citizens are protected at all cost," Pitkin said.
"At the same time, personally, I do think that for us as a nation to see some sort of development, there are some rights that we must be willing to surrender and I am very strong on that. And what I mean is, if there is a curfew in a community and there might be restrictions, we must be willing to cooperate," he added.
"We are willing to offer our support where we can, whether it is for assisting with the bringing in of guns, bringing in wanted or suspected persons. If they call us, we are prepared to assist," Pitkin said.
Rev Dr Stevenson Samuels, pastor of the Escarpment Road New Testament Church in St Andrew, said he is willing to give his cooperation once there is certainty of development within communities.
"One of the things I know is that troubled and challenged communities need special attention, they just don't need a programme. They need genuine attention that will substantially move these communities from one level to another," he said.