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Edwards cites 'deception' concerning Caymanas Park security issue

Published:Wednesday | December 24, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Ainsley Walters, Gleaner Writer

Vincent Edwards, president of the Jamaica Racehorse Trainers Association, is up in arms over what he has described as 'deception' on the part of Caymanas Track Limited (CTL) concerning the safety of the Caymanas Park stable area.

Edwards, responding to an article in last week's Racing Along, which revealed that security services at Caymanas Park are to be divided into raceday and non-raceday contracts, with separate contractors, yesterday said the new arrangements have excluded the provision of an armoured truck patrolling the stable area.

The trainers' association president contended that the professional groups at Caymanas Park, including JRTA, had agreed with CTL that an armoured truck would have replaced static security personnel in the backstretch - a cost-saving measure which would have still provided protection for stable-area personnel.

"We all met, CTL, acting security manager Michael Simms, along with representation from the various stakeholders and agreed to sanction the removal of static security from the stable area, despite the obvious risk to our safety, providing the company provide an armoured truck, solely dedicated to CTL, which could be staffed with significantly smaller personnel, but able to respond quickly," Edwards asserted.

"I have seen the new bids and there is no armoured truck provided for in the tender done in October.

This was a concession, on our part, to CTL, based on the company's financial position, but it has now come to bite us as a deception.

"Which company is now going to provide static security? How will it be paid for? Is there going to be any security, at all, in the backstretch? If there is going to be security, where has the money suddenly come from?"

Edwards said the removal of the truck from the tender puts members of his association and other stakeholders in a position of being endangered and the tender must be revisited.

"It is a fundamental breach of trust and I am puzzled as to who could have put together a tender like this. It obviously could not have been anybody who was party to the discussions held after trainers Donovan Bruce and Tony Kirlew were shot and killed in the stable area," he said.

A CTL director contacted by The Gleaner refused comment, saying security issues were not his portfolio.