Immigration Officers must be alert

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December 14, 2015
Jennifer McDonald, CEO of PICA.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), Jennifer McDonald, says the country's Immigration Officers must be alert at all times, to detect persons with ill intent entering the country. She said with terrorism now a global concern, border security and the role of immigration officers are of the utmost importance at this time.

"As guardians of the nation's borders, we have to be alert and intuitive to any signs of perforation in the safety and security of our borders," McDonald told a recent graduation ceremony for 39 Immigration Officers, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in New Kingston.

The CEO told the new officers that the profession needs persons of the highest integrity, and before they act, they should consider the consequences for themselves and their country.

"If we as a nation are to employ effective counter-terrorism strategies, then we need to be able to rely on persons of sound integrity.

"Ensure that you exercise your duties, not only as Immigration Officers, but also as good ambassadors. It is an important balance that we need to strike, especially in a country which is heavily dependent on tourism," she urged.

McDonald said the officers also have a "wonderful opportunity" to interact with persons from all over the world, and the training they received, which included customer service, will help them in trying times, and with difficult persons.

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