THE Police High Command yesterday raised the threat level against the security forces to extremely high, especially in Spanish Town, Montego Bay and St Andrew where recent police operations are said to have disrupted criminal elements.
In a release to the press yesterday, Commissioner Owen Ellington called on all police officers in these areas to be "extremely vigilant", advising that criminals have intensified their threats against them.
Ellington, however, said that the men and women of the constabulary will not be deterred in their duties by criminal elements.
According to the commissioner, the threat against the police in Bedward Gardens in August Town, St Andrew was sparked by the police's hunt for Jamaica's most wanted Christopher 'Dog Paw' Linton, who the cops say is behind several murders and shootings in the rural St Andrew area, including the triple murder on Sunday morning of six-year-old Jaheem McKay, his mother Dania Forbes and uncle Marnis Hylton.
The police had come under intense gunfire as they responded to the gruesome attack.
Since the attack — in which the bodies of the three were burnt beyond recognition in their house — two of six men listed as persons of interest have been brought into custody. The police identified them as Yanik Lewis, otherwise called Slim Shady of Jungle 12 and a man known as Burger of a Kintyre address.
Still at large are Linton, Micah Allen, otherwise called 'Micah'; another man known only as Nesbeth of Tavern Drive, St Andrew; and a man known only as 'Carey' of Kintyre.
Yesterday, the police, for the first time, released photographs of the 24-year-old Linton.
Meanwhile, the police say the security situation in the old capital of Spanish Town in St Catherine and its environs has been exacerbated with a noticeable increase in criminal activities since the recent arrest of Tesha Miller, the reputed leader of the Klansman Gang.
"A number of policemen have received death threats with criminals threatening that the police in Spanish Town will not have a good Christmas if Tesha remains in prison," said Ellington's statement.
Miller was picked up by detectives from the St Catherine North Police Division last week and is under investigation for the theft of a motor car in the parish.
Still, the police said that several of the criminal acts being committed in Spanish Town and its environs are random and involve individuals who are not affiliated to any gang.
The threat against the police in Montego Bay, St James follows a recent major drug seizure there. A district constable was also shot and injured in the western Jamaica parish, which is also the island's tourism capital.
The Police High Command yesterday appealed for assistance from the public and urged citizens to remain alert. The police also asked for advanced notification of any group activities such as funerals, treats, parties "or any other such activities so that adequate security can be provided".