No plans to merge JCF with JDF - Chang

Minister of National Security, Dr. Horace Chang, says that while there has been an increase in joint operations between the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), there are no plans to merge the security apparatuses into one.

Dr. Chang, who was addressing the Jamaica Police Federation’s 79th annual conference virtually on May 17, said that because of the urgent need to bring crime under control, the JDF has been providing increased assistance to the police, notably in the Zones of Special Operations (ZOSO) and in other emergency situations.

“There is no intention to merge the JCF into the JDF at any time. There is no intention to diminish the role of the police force in relation to territorial law enforcement vis-à-vis the Jamaica Defence Force,” he said.

“The Jamaica Constabulary Force spans the entire country and covers the entire spectrum of law enforcement. The JCF has over 200 facilities in which there are 186 police stations and is the primary symbol of the legal authority of the Government in our communities. That stands out for the police and cannot be changed, nor will we make any effort to change that,” Chang told the conference.

The Minister dismissed as “grossly misleading if not unfair” the comparison of resources provided for the army versus the JCF.

“It’s two different organisations. They are all Jamaicans, and I don’t wish to adopt… the practice to divide and rule. The army is a much smaller organisation and has a smaller span, with two operational bases – at Up Park Camp in Kingston and Burke Barracks in Montego Bay – and some training in Moneague,” he pointed out.

“The police [force] is not a second cousin of the Ministry; it is the primary responsibility of the Ministry. We only provide administrative services to the Ministry of Defence,” he added.

The Minister, in the meanwhile, said that the administration is pursuing the transformation of police facilities, recognising that a modern and efficient police force requires fit-for-purpose tools to get the job done.

He noted that the modernising of facilities, along with the internal restructuring of the force, being spearheaded by the Commissioner of Police to optimise performance, is positioning the JCF to be the most capable, competent, equipped, and efficient law-enforcement agency in the region, with strong, professional community presence.

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