SENIOR Superintendent Steve McGregor has signalled he would bring his reputation as a tough cop to his new job as head of the volatile West Kingston police division.
One week before his transfer to the area, McGregor sent out a strong warning to criminals, saying he would be pulling out all the stops to stem the latest series of gang violence plaguing the area.
In recent months residents in the community say they have been living under the gun, as gang violence in the area claimed the lives of several persons.
"I can tell them from now that I will definitely be hitting the ground running as stemming this ongoing feud is one of my priorities," McGregor, told the Jamaica Observer.
While not disclosing all of their planned operational strategies, the cop warned that there would be an increase in the number of foot patrols in the area as crime fighters seek to flood the narrow lanes and corners which are used as havens for criminals.
"Definitely there will be an increase in foot patrols as we will not allow the criminals to take control of the area," McGregor said.
Apparently anticipating the usual criticisms about police excesses, he made it clear that it would not be a heavy-handed approach as he planned to engage law-abiding citizens with more on-the-ground discussions.
The senior cop said the police-community element of the job would also play a key role as the police moved to build the relationship between authorities and residents in the area.
McGregor is likely to get the support of Member of Parliament for West Kingston Desmond McKenzie, who reported receiving several death threats from criminals in the area and has called on the police to step up their operations in the area to curb the number of reported attacks by criminals, whom he said were locked in an ongoing battle over turf.
On August 1, 2013, 11-year-old Tashanique James became the youngest victim of the deadly feud when she was shot and killed by criminals who opened fire on a group of children at a party.
Several suspects have since been held for the murder.