BY ANTHONY LEWIS
(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — The Government says it is calling out the Jamaica National Reserve to enhance the security forces’ presence in communities islandwide in a push back against increasing criminal activities.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness told guests at a ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of a new $45-million police station in Mount Salem, St James, yesterday that the decision was taken during a National Security Council meeting on Thursday.
“Yesterday, at our National Security Council meeting, which we have regularly — and we take this very seriously — we have decided that in order to support the JCF (Jamaica Constabulary Force) in their efforts for a surge, that we will make a full call out of the National Reserve to augment the force presence that we have in communities all across Jamaica,” he said.
The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) explains on its website that the “Jamaica National Reserve is a multi-domain focused reserve force formation that has been expanded to include a headquarters element in command of four units — the Third, Sixth and Ninth Battalions the Jamaica Regiment in addition to the Support Battalion”.
Yesterday, National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang was heard on radio saying that the formation numbered approximately 2,000.
In his address yesterday, the prime minister also said more dynamic operations will be conducted across Jamaica.
“Even though this will be a muted Christmas season, in terms of the level of celebrations at Christmas, certainly we are still expecting that there will be significant commercial activity over and beyond what happened for the rest of the year, and so we are going to ensure that space in which commercial activity takes place that those spaces are also safe. We are also noticing an increase in traffic on the roads and with that comes the usual issues of traffic management and you know the usual indiscipline that we have to address, and so that will also have our attention,” the prime minister said.