Operation Restore Paradise gets under way in St James tomorrow
The so-called Operation Restore Paradise, which is aimed at restoring and maintaining law and order in St James, is to get under way tomorrow in the western parish, which is also under a State of Emergency (SOE).
The initiative, which is a collaboration between the St James Municipal Corporation and the St James police, is expected to span one week.
Other agencies are expected to join the effort, including the Ministry of Health, National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Island Traffic Authority, Transport Authority and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard.
Mayor of Montego Bay and Chairman of the St James Municipal Corporation, Councillor Homer Davis, made the announcement at a press conference held the Municipal Corporation’s Office on Friday.
“We have decided to take a zero tolerance approach as it relates to law and order in the city of Montego Bay, because we think that we have a paradise and what we are seeing taking place in our paradise is not acceptable,” Davis said.
“The approach will be one of sensitising our people, one of enforcement when it becomes necessary and one of prosecution when it becomes necessary,” he added.
The mayor informed that traffic enforcement will be a major part of the operation, and persons with outstanding traffic tickets, as well as operators of Public Passenger Vehicles (PPV) who operate in contravention of the Road Traffic Act will be targeted.
“For business operators who operate in the city, [we will check] their certification, as it relates to public health, and as it relates to contracts with the NSWMA to remove their garbage,” Davis explained.
Meanwhile, Commanding Officer for the St James Police Division, Superintendent Vernon Ellis, said the police will be ensuring that the law is obeyed
“The security and safety of a parish is the business of everyone. The challenges we face out here, the security forces cannot arrest our way out of the challenges. Some of the solution lies with many other agencies. We have decided that this time around…that we will be using a multi-agency approach,” he stated.
Ellis also said the police will aim to sensitise the public on the different laws in the country.
“So we are going to de-culture persons by telling them what is right, by showing them the stuff that they are not supposed to do. Educating them on the laws, rules and regulations. We are going to sell to them the mission of restoring paradise. We are going to get the citizens to be a part of the solution to the problem that we are having out here in St. James,” he explained.