ST JAMES, Jamaica – National Security Minister, Dr Horace Chang, has shot down a suggestion by Opposition Spokesman on Security, Peter Bunting, that the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is being treated as a “poor cousin” in allocations from the Ministry of Security, while the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) is getting the lion's share.
“The police is not a second cousin of the Ministry (of security), it is the primary responsibility of the Ministry. We only provide administrative services to the Ministry of Defence," Dr Chang argued.
"And there is no intention to merge the JCF into the JDF at any time. And there is no intention to diminish the role of the police force in relation to territorial law enforcement vis-a-vis the Jamaica Defence Force. With the level of violence in the country we have had to put the JDF on the street much more than is normal."
He was virtually addressing the 79th Jamaica Police Federation Conference now underway at the Ocean Coral Spring Resort in Trelawny.
Speaking ahead of Dr Chang, Bunting accused the Ministry of Security of treating the JCF as a "poor cousin" in their allocations.
"A budget is not just an accounting exercise, a budget is a statement of priorities and that is whether it is at a corporate level or at a governmental level or within any organisation and in ministry department or agency," Bunting argued.
"A budget is a statement of priorities and when you examine the budget of the Ministry of National Security over the last seven years what you will see is that the JCF has been treated as the poor cousin of the Ministry of National Security.”