Western News

Mayor hopes for better 2018 in St James

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer West writer

Thursday, January 11, 2018

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MONTEGO BAY, St James - The year 2017 has been described as a “turbulent” year for the parish of St James.

The year ended with 335 murders, and Mayor of Montego Bay Homer Davis is hoping for a better 2018.

“... A city that has been in the spotlight and has gone through a very turbulent 2017… I am sure that none of us are proud of. But I am sure that with the commitment of the members of the security forces and the commitment of citizens, whom I have been interacting, gives me great confidence that 2018 will be a year in which we will see closer collaboration with the police and citizens,” expressed Davis.

The mayor, a former policeman, added, “I would implore the police high command, don't wait for the citizens to come and engage you. I recommend that you engage the citizens. And in engaging them you will get their confidence. And we can't only engage them when crime has occurred in their respective area, I would say even in areas that things are quiet, engage them and you will have their confidence.”

Mayor Davis was addressing the opening ceremony for the Office of the Public Defender Western Region Office in St James last week.

The office, which is located at shop 18 on a plaza located at St Claver Avenue in Montego Bay, will serve St James and the other western parishes of Hanover, Trelawny and Westmoreland.

Meanwhile, operations officer in charge of St James, Superintendent Gary McKenzie, said the police continue to adhere to the principles of human rights. He said this is elucidated in several policies that the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) have adopted overtime. He cited, for example, the public/police interaction policy which outlines clearly how the police should treat citizen.

He pointed to the Zone of special operations (ZOSO) in Mount Salem, St James, where no report of human rights abuses by members of the joint security forces has been made.

Superintendent McKenzie added that it is the aim of the police to replicate this across the entire country and they are working assiduously towards this end.

He also stated that the force has diversity policies which ensure that all citizens, despite their social class, complexion, sexual orientation or religion, are protected.

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