Tue | Nov 21, 2017

St James pastor wants security forces in Granville

Published:Tuesday | September 26, 2017 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas
Reverend Kelsa Forbes, pastor of the Pitfour Gospel Chapel in St James, delivering the sermon during the Mt Salem Primary and Junior High School's 50th anniversary celebration, held at the Emmanuel Chapel in Mt Salem on Sunday.

WESTERN BUREAU:

Reverend Kesla Forbes, pastor of the Pitfour Gospel Chapel in St James, is calling on the security forces to take steps to address the crime problems in Granville in a manner similar to what is unfolding under the zone of special operations (ZOSO) in Mt Salem.

The pastor made the appeal while delivering the keynote sermon at the Mt Salem Primary and Junior High School's 50th anniversary celebration, which was held at the Emmanuel Chapel in Mt Salem on Sunday.

"The presence of military men this morning indicates to us that all is not well, and we thank God for them, because they provide us a measure of peace. I know they may not be the decision-makers, but please, military men, 'screechy' and come to Granville," said Forbes.

"I am very concerned, because as we are planning our church crusade. I don't know if anybody is going to come out because people are afraid. The little boys are running around with guns, they fire their shots and they make people afraid," Forbes added. "As we look at the happenings, we realise that society has shifted its focus from God. There is a turning away from seeking the face of the Almighty."

While the ongoing ZOSO in Mt Salem has reaped some success, the security forces were on high alert earlier this month after receiving threats from gangsters in Granville following the death of 27-year-old Curtis Coke, who the police described as a known violence producer from the area.

According to reports, Coke was killed during a shoot-out with the police. His death sparked roadblocks in the community, which were subsequently cleared.

Concerning the ZOSO, Montego Bay's mayor, Homer Davis, recently said that similar operations were needed in other parts of St James, which has recorded over 200 murders since January.