Respect the rights of residents - Mount Salem councillor
Kerry Thomas, councillor for the Mount Salem Division, says there have been mixed feelings towards the community being declared as the first Zone Of Special Operations in Jamaica.
"Some persons are able to go about their business, and some are complaining that they can't go about their business, while some are upset," he told THE STAR.
According to Thomas, the community, which is located on the outskirts of Montego Bay, has been pretty quiet in recent times.
"The last flare-up was back in the end of May when there was a shooting in the community by the police, but, beyond that, it has been very peaceful from then till now," he told THE STAR.
Admitting that no community would want to be declared a Zone of Special Operations, he said the residents have to trust the authorities and what their intelligence are telling them.
"In Mount Salem, in particular, we know that we just have to rely on the intelligence that the police provide. We have to trust that they know what they are doing, and that they intend to make our communities much safer for the law-abiding citizens living there, and, in the process, respect the rights of each and everyone, and have a clear communication with all," he said.
In announcing the St James community as a Zone of Special Operations yesterday, Prime Minister Andrew Holness noted that Mount Salem was safe haven for criminal.
"There are many other communities like that (Mount Salem), but we have decided to start in Mount Salem for other strategic reasons," he said.