Changes coming for Police Divisional borders in JCA – Chang

KINGSTON, Jamaica – In order to make policing more efficient and effective, and in keeping with the significant challenges posed by increased population and urbanisation, reconfiguration of the divisional boundaries of the Jamaica Constabulary Force has become a necessity, according to Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang.

Chang made the disclosure on Wednesday during his Sectoral Debate presentation in Parliament.

He said that while the police are organised into five geographic areas, which have retained their original boundaries despite population changes, and while much has been done in institutional restructuring, “there are several critical changes that have become necessary in establishing good public order throughout the country and we believe that these changes are one such”.

The new configuration will see the six Corporate Area divisions and St Thomas becoming the new Metropolitan Region. The police divisions of St Catherine and Clarendon would become a new Area. Meanwhile, increased population, commercialisation and industrial activities, as well as the changing dynamics in criminality, will require modifications to the current Area One – St James, Westmoreland, Hanover and Trelawny.

“Therefore, these parishes would justify their administration, as we seek to quell the violence that has gripped that part of the country,” Chang said, pointing out that Westmoreland, St Elizabeth and Manchester will form a new police Area, leaving a new look Area One encompassing St James, Hanover and Trelawny.

In addition, Chang stated that there is a proposal for the establishment of the Kingston and St Andrew Metropolitan Portfolio.

This, according to the Minister, will be in line with municipalities the world over, which have long recognized the need for the unification of policing services within their metropolitan areas, aimed at achieving greater operational efficiency.

“This mode of operation creates silos, and poses significant challenges to effective coordination and command and control and as a result, a suitable location to house the portfolio headquarters has been identified, while the concept has received approval from the Public Investment Management Committee,” Chang added.

Chang said that while criminals operate seamlessly across policing divisions within the Corporate Area, “there is no way that law enforcement efforts should be constrained by geographic boundaries.”

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