Police to flood streets during Christmas season

Observer staff reporter

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

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HUNDREDS of law enforcement officers will be deployed across the country for the Christmas season, commanding officer for the Jamaica Constabulary Force's (JCF) Traffic and Highway Patrol Division, Senior Superintendent Calvin Allen said yesterday, as activities surrounding the busy holiday period heightens.

Allen did not give specific numbers but said that special attention will be given to the Corporate Area, where most of the activities are expected to take place.

“At this time of the year we have significantly reduced administrative activities of many sorts in order to have that requisite number of officers on our roadways. So with all the must-do construction taking place along those critical corridors, and with the sort of vehicular population that we know is already out there — and will be out closer to this weekend into the 25th — we are ensuring that we have that presence out there, not only for the purposes of traffic flow but also for the purposes of general safety of citizens as they go about their shopping,” Allen told the Jamaica Observer during yesterday's interview.

He added that special attention will also be given to the main thoroughfares across the island, including critical intersections, during peak hours. Allen is hoping that the “strategic” positioning of officers will limit or prevent congestion and curtail any form of indiscipline as Jamaicans go about their business.

“Apart from intersections our officers will be in the plazas in all town squares, and we continue to collaborate with entities such as the KSAMC (Kingston & St Andrew Municipal Corporation) in terms of vendor management issues in the uptown areas and so forth. I know that the mayor usually extends some discretion in the downtown areas [so] we wait to see what comes out of that. Nonetheless, we are working with the KSAMC, we are working with the transport authority and the other crucial agencies to ensure that order and safety prevail leading into Christmas and beyond,” he said.

“I'm not in a position to give numbers in terms of officers that will be on the road, but I can tell you that hundreds of officers will be out there. A lot of police officers will be out there along the corridors, at the intersections, and along the highways. Both the Edward Seaga Highway and the P J Patterson Highway and our airport road will have strong police presence along these areas,” he added.

In the meantime, Allen said permits will not be given for Christmas parties to be held in some sections of the Corporate Area.

“No parties will be allowed along the Palisadoes strip. No parties will be allowed along that corridor. The KSAMC and the NWA (National Works Agency), they are looking into those situations. That corridor will be given special attention and especially as it relates to the 31st of December into the new year.

“We know of the sort of numbers that go into the fireworks activity event that takes place on the waterfront and people trying to get various advantages to view. However, we are ensuring that the airport road remains with a level of order and discipline. Officers will be deployed in their numbers in the downtown Kingston area and along that corridor so as to ensure that order prevails and people can get to and from the point of departure and destination without any hassle,” the officer said.

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