Toll road appeal
Police Federation boss calls on Gov't to facilitate access for on-duty copsWednesday, October 27, 2021
BY HORACE HINES
MONTEGO BAY, St James — Jamaica Police Federation Chairman Corporal Rohan James says the Ministry of National Security needs to make arrangements allowing toll road access to members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force in the pursuit of their duties.
He was speaking in the wake of Monday's motor vehicle crash which claimed the life of Constable Orlando Irons and the injury of two of his colleagues while transporting Kevin Smith, leader of Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries, from Montego Bay to Kingston, to face charges of murder and illegal possession of firearm.
Smith also died in the crash which occurred on the Linstead bypass in St Catherine.
“It has brought into sharp focus again my appeal for a holistic approach to be taken to national security and that the access to the toll road facility is one that must be addressed because you cannot have criminal elements roaming the streets unabated and the police cannot gain access to pursue them and even to conduct the affairs of the nation. It is untenable,” said James.
“We have allowed too many things to slip through the cracks and the time has come for us as a nation to underscore the importance of national security. The federation will not sit by and seek not to highlight the plight and seek to address and bring about a resolution to the issue for force efficiency,” he said.
The police federation chairman argued that if the policemen had not taken the Linstead bypass route they would have had to absorb the cost for passage on the toll road.
“To the best of my knowledge, and the information is, they had no access to the toll road in relation to passage, except that they would have to pay, and as I have said in other interviews, the time has come for my fellow police officers to stop subsidising national security. They have been doing it for prolonged periods and the recognition and the reward are absent,” James said.
In fact, he revealed that over time, the cops are not reimbursed whenever they foot the bill to use the toll.
“It has been brought to our knowledge that several members, in the execution of their duties, have used the toll road, they paid the toll fee and are yet to be reimbursed. So we are hoping that, in light of what transpired, that this is an adversity, and good will come out of it in that the minister will now use his powers to alleviate any such recurrences,” James told reporters in Montego Bay yesterday.
Members of the police federation, accompanied by the chaplaincy of the JCF, and members of Area One Police Division, were in attendance at a grief counselling session for the members of the St James Police Division who are mourning the passing of Constable Irons, who was stationed in Montego Bay.
Meanwhile, James revealed that the condition of his two colleagues, who were injured in Monday's accident, remained critical but stable up to yesterday.