The top brass of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has given the assurance that measures have been put in place to ensure that Jamaicans are safe when they go to the polls today.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Glenmore Hinds declined to discuss the measures, but made it clear that the police are prepared for any eventuality.
Hinds, who has responsibility for the operations portfolio, admitted that one concern for the police is the possibility of criminal gangs "shooting at people".
"But we have plans to mitigate that as well," he told The Gleaner after a news conference at the police commissioner's St Andrew offices yesterday.
The news conference, which was attended by Police Commissioner Owen Ellington and other JCF top brass, was to assure Jamaicans that the police were fully prepared for the elections.
Without singling out any community, Hinds said the police would pay "special attention" to a number of areas that have the potential to become volatile.
"We still have gangs operating in several communities in Jamaica and that makes them potentially volatile," he explained.
Despite these concerns, Hinds told reporters that the police would be out in their numbers to ensure that the elections are peaceful.
Don't handle ballot boxes
At the same time, Ellington disclosed that police personnel have been reminded that they should not handle ballot boxes.
"Those are my instructions to them, whether they are in uniform or not," Ellington emphasised.
Hinds said police personnel who were unable to vote with election day workers and other members of the security forces last Thursday would be allowed to do so today if their names are on the civilian voters' list.
He said the Police High Command has instructed that these persons be deployed in the areas where they vote.
Hinds also warned persons transporting voters to polling stations in tinted motor vehicles to ensure that the windows are rolled down to give a clear view of the occupants.
Director of communications in the Office of the Commissioner of Police, Karl Angell (standing), addresses journalists while Assistant Commissioner of Police Ray Palmer (left), Deputy Commissioner of Police Glenmore Hinds (second left) and Police Commissioner Owen Ellington look on during a press conference at the Ellington's office in St Andrew yesterday. - Ian Allen/Photographer