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USAID rolls out phase 2 of citizen security project

Thursday, January 16, 2014    

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THE United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched phase two of its Community Empowerment and Transformation Project (COMET II), a five-year programme aimed at assisting the Government of Jamaica (GoJ) to strengthen citizen security and community-police relationships.

The project, which is spearheaded by the international team TETRA Tech/DPK in collaboration with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the GoJ, will seek to empower local leaders and community organisations; enhance relationships and build confidence among key stakeholders, including police, community groups, and key governmental institutions; and support the JCF's Community Based Policing Programme.

"The overall approach of COMET II is to capitalise on the gains of COMET I, improving the relationship between community and police and enabling them to work together to build safer communities and reduce crime and violence. In addition, we hope that this activity will strengthen social cohesion and promote a sense of belonging, inclusion, participation, recognition and legitimacy among communities and community members," explains USAID Mission Director Denise A Herbol.

COMET I was USAID/Jamaica's first large flagship citizen security programme, and was implemented from 2006 through 2012 with these objectives: to reduce crime and violence and strengthen economic competitiveness in Jamaica's inner-city communities. COMET I was embraced at both the parish and governmental levels and helped to strengthen Community Based Policing across the country.

Community safety and security and anti-corruption efforts at the national level also improved within the JCF, Independent Commission of Investigations, National Integrity Association, and Financial Investigations Division, as well as across the region through the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police.

COMET II will look to add to the successes of COMET I with a more concentrated focus on communities and community-driven activities contributing to improved crime prevention, intervention, and enforcement. It will address underlying causes of crime and promote improved communications and interactions between the citizens and the police. The initiative will also continue to support the JCF's Community Based Policing Programme.

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