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As Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, I delight in occasions such as these when our Ministry can enhance the work of another – in this case the Ministry of National Security - to the mutual benefit of all parties. This initiative underscores the fact that the work of the various Ministries is interconnected and in many areas intersecting. Therefore in areas of commonality it is good when we can collaborate.
I am pleased that The Ministry, though our agency the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) is providing the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) with 15 motor vehicles for use in crime-fighting in tourist resort areas.
Because the reality is, we are one nation and one people with a common purpose; and that is to build and develop our land and ourselves as individuals, and to enjoy peace and prosperity. We want to see the best for our children and lay a solid foundation for them to build on in the years to come. To accomplish these goals unity is essential – a common mind and a common focus.
For this to materialize the existing vices in our society have to be eliminated, one of which is crime - a scourge to any society irrespective of whom it is perpetrated against. It is therefore important that crime fighters be furnished with the necessary tools such as these vehicles, to efficiently execute their duties. The vehicles being presented today have been acquired at a cost of $28.2 million dollars and will be deployed to the parishes of Trelawny, St. James, Hanover, Westmoreland and St. Mary.
Today’s donation marks the latest move in our ongoing initiative to bolster the resources of our law enforcers. In May of last year we presented the JCF with 16 sports utility vehicles costing approximately $32 million; the Montego Hills Police Station in St. James has been refurbished at a cost of $6 million. Motorcycles have also been provided for the Montego Bay resort area, through a collaborative effort with the St. James Police-Citizens Action Committee, to the tune of $1.5 million to enhance the efforts of the traffic police in monitoring and enforcing traffic laws along the Elegant Corridor. Additionally there is an ongoing project to repair two non-functional marine police vessels. This project is being undertaken at a cost of $1 million.
The Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment through TEF is pleased to partner with the Ministry of National Security and the Jamaica Constabulary Force to reduce crime in the tourist resort areas and by extension Jamaica through all these initiatives. Let me use this opportunity to congratulate the Ministry of National Security and specifically the men and women of the JCF for the fine results that we have been seeing in recent years and in particular the past year, in reducing the crime rate. And I want to emphasize that this is not only being done to safeguard our visitors, but all our Jamaican citizens as well.
Commissioner Ellington, as the leader under whose watch this has been accomplished, I commend you. Additionally, I urge the members of the police force to keep up the good work.
Utilize well the vehicles and all the other amenities that have been provided; and care them to ensure maximum benefit.
I call on all Jamaicans to continue to support the JCF as they strive to serve and protect so that together we can create the kind of Jamaica we want to see,….truly a more peaceful and prosperous nation.