McKenzie seeks talks with commish following attacks on local employees
Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie has requested a meeting with Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson to discuss ways to provide greater protection for persons employed to local authorities.
The move follows separate incidents this week in which a member of the Municipal Police and a security guard employed to the St Ann Municipal Corporation were seriously injured.
In the first incident, the security guard was reportedly shot in the neck at the Ocho Rios Transport Centre after resisting a gunman’s demand to hand over cash he had collected from bus operators using the facility.
He remains in hospital in critical condition.
In the other incident, a member of the Municipal Police was left with severe facial injuries after an altercation with a bus driver at the Bus Park in Spanish Town.
McKenzie condemned both attacks.
“I am appalled at the violence that our Municipal officers have been experiencing as they perform their duties. I am particularly concerned that these incidents are not isolated, but appear to be part of a pattern of assault against the public order and revenue collection functions of the Municipal Corporations,” he said in a statement.
“I have therefore written to the Commissioner of Police, so that we can meet to discuss specific measures to protect the Municipal staff right around the country”.
The local government minister appealed to employees at the municipal corporations and members of the Municipal Police in particular to “maintain their spirits through these challenges”.
“I am fully aware of their concerns and will take all necessary steps to ensure that the ministry, as part of a wider effort of government, significantly reduces unruly conduct and criminal activity,” he said.