Police Commissioner Owen Ellington is estimating that by year end, more than 1,300 new members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force would have been recruited and trained.
"(This is) made up of regular, special constables and district constables," he said. "It is important though that as we increase the strength of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), we build out in other areas of our capabilities so that we can deploy effectively," he said.
Ellington suggested that to recruit, train and deploy members to be stationed is just part of the strategy.
"But it's another thing to get them out into the field, where policing belongs," he said. "That is in the villages, in the communities, in the townships, areas where the population is shifting and areas where we have most of the crime challenges."
New vehicles for cops
Ellington said the recent handover of 89 new vehicles was a demonstration of the Government's commitment to building and equipping the force as part of its strategy to better police Jamaica and serve the public.
The vehicles, comprising of motorcars, patrol pick-ups and small buses, were bought by the combined efforts of the Ministry of National Security, the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment (through the Tourism Enhancement Fund) and the National Road Operating and Constructing Company.
Tourism Minister Dr Wykeham McNeill suggested crime was bad for all sectors and, though his sector's outlook was good, "the question we should ask ourselves is how well would we do if we were able to significantly bring down crime?"
He said tackling crime was a national imperative.
"We, in tourism, have vowed to do our part," he said, noting the ministry's handover of vehicles valued at J$30 million earlier this year.
"Over the last two years, we have given in excess of $470 million just towards border controls," he added. "When you put all of this together over the last year and a half, we have ... given nearly $600 million."
The vehicles will be deployed islandwide. Ellington pointed to increasing resources allocated to the seven most problematic divisions, which include St James, Clarendon, St Catherine North and South and most recently Westmoreland.