Specialised Ops branch signals new era of policing – Minister Chang

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Specialised Ops branch signals new era of policing – Minister Chang

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica—Minister of National Security, Dr Horace Chang says the reorganisation and rebranding of the mobile reserve into the Specialized Operations Branch signals the dawn of a new era of policing in Jamaica.

“We are creating the conditions for strategic transformation of the police force - the Force for good- so that Jamaicans can experience meaningful and sustained reduction in crimes. We are re-equipping the JCF and providing the men and women of the force with the tools they need to engage the criminals effectively, and within the law,” said Minister Chang.

He was speaking yesterday during a tour of the Joint Information Operations and Command Centre (JIOCC) and other facilities at the Harman Barracks headquarters of the branch.

He noted that Government has invested approximately $500 million to bolster the capacity and technological capability at Harman Barracks.

The investment includes renovation to the barracks valued at approximately $100 million. The work, which was done in partnership with the National Housing Trust, will accommodate up to 150 police officers. An additional $400 million was spent on the procurement of vehicles, general maintenance, electrical upgrades, a special operations room and system upgrades to enhance integrated surveillance monitoring.

Minister Chang highlighted that the renovation and establishment of the Special Operations Branch was a part of a comprehensive restructuring of the JCF.

Read more:JCF Special Ops branch nabs "top-tier, high-value" criminals

Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson said the specialized branch is one of six JCF formations that have been reformed so far. He pointed out that the initiative was not 'just a relabelling' of units but tangible and operational adjustments to fit the current crime situation.

“It has been just shy of a year since the Special Operations Branch has been in place and there has been a lot of development. This includes investment in human resource and technology, which have propelled the branch to do well,” he said.

Major Anderson thanked the team at the branch, who he said possessed the capabilities to move the force in the right direction.

The disbanding of the Mobile Reserve was one of several major changes announced by Minister Chang last year. The branch has yielded several impactful results, including the seizure of a number of high powered weapons.

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