JCF proposes changes for Portmore as a parish

The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) says that, while it has no objection to Portmore becoming the 15th parish, there will be need for changes to the organisational and management structure of its police divisions.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Kevin Blake says that, while the proposals for changes to the divisional structure of the police in Portmore will free up much of the human resources to properly cover the community, it remains a growing municipality, residentially and commercially, with increasing demand for effective policing.

“There is going to be an increased demand in the need for policing and the human resource to police the space,” he said, noting that the options will require changing the divisional and the command structures which will require additional resource allocations.

Blake, who is in charge of the JCF’s development and logistics portfolio, was presenting the constabulary’s submission to the joint select committee of Parliament reviewing the move to make Portmore Jamaica’s 15th parish.

He told the committee chaired by Dr Andrew Wheatley, Member of Parliament for St Catherine South Central, that the JCF is currently raising no objection to the Government’s proposal to make the municipality a parish.

He noted that the Portmore municipality is currently policed by two divisions St Catherine South and St Catherine North.

St Catherine South, which was formed in 1996, comprises seven stations and a police post; namely Greater Portmore, Bridgeport, Caymanas, Waterford, and the Hellshire police post, which are located in the municipality, and Central Village, Old Harbour, and Old Harbour Bay, which are not part of the municipality.

He said the police are submitting that, should the municipality become a parish, there will be need for changes to its organisational and management structure as follows:

(1) The establishment of a Portmore Division, which will incorporate Greater Portmore, Bridgeport, Caymanas, and Waterford police stations, as well as the Hellshire post;

(2) The expansion of the St Catherine North Division in order to incorporate the Central Village, Old Harbour and Old Harbour Bay police areas, since these areas will not be part of the new parish of Portmore, and currently fall into the wider Area Five command structure; and,

(3) Reorganisation of management structures and policing strategies to suit the new arrangement.

However, he said the JCF does not anticipate any major financial implication arising from the proposed changes at this time.

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