Nedburn Thaffe, Gleaner Writer
Director for the Caribbean Search Centre, Superintendent Lenval Hutton, said since the establishment of the multimillion-dollar initiative, there have been reports pointing to a decline in murders and other crimes in a number of penal institutions across the country.
"The reports coming out of Corrections (Department of Correctional Services) is that murders and other crimes within our penal institutions have been drastically reduced because of their capacity to find weapons that are inside there," Hutton said.
While admitting that the success of the centre is not easily measured, Hutton said the impact it has had in helping to reduce crime in general is unquestionable.
"It has an impact which is not really measured in that cellphones and so on, which found their way in penal institutions, are retrieved by correctional officers who searched within the prisons, and this reduce the link between criminal gangs, persons who are behind bars and persons who are out on the street."
The superintendent was speaking with The Gleaner during a graduation ceremony for 32 law-enforcement officers at the British High Commission in Kingston yesterday.
During the two-week certification course, the officers received specialised training in the detection of contrabands.
Warrant officer in the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), Glenroy Hinds, had high praises for the programme saying that the training received will go a far way in impacting crime fighting.
"The experience was good, and I have to thank all those who were involved in the training process, what we have learnt is something that I am certain will be useful not just to us but our country on a whole," he said.
The Caribbean Search Centre was opened in 2001 at a cost of $26 million.
The centre provides training in search operations for persons from the country's three main law-enforcement agencies which includes the JDF, the police force, Customs Department and Department of Correctional Services.