MoBay mayor wants police-citizen collaboration for 2018
Following St James' record-breaking murder tally of 335 killings last year, Montego Bay's mayor Homer Davis has urged the St James police to work together with residents to curb crime and violence in 2018.
Davis, who is also chairman of the St James Municipal Corporation, made the call while addressing the official opening of the Office of the Public Defender's western regional office in Montego Bay, which was at the St James Parish Church on Friday.
"Montego Bay is a city that has been in the spotlight and has gone through a very turbulent 2017, a year that I am sure none of us are proud of. But I am sure that 2018 will be a year in which we will see closer collaboration between the police and citizens," said Davis.
"I will implore the police high command not to wait on the citizens to come and engage you. I recommend that you engage the citizens, and in engaging them you will get their confidence," Davis added.
"You can't only engage them when crime has occurred in their respective areas. Engage them even in areas where things are quiet, and they will endow unto you their confidence."
Out of Jamaica's total tally of 1,616 murders for 2017, the St James police division recorded the highest number at 335, far surpassing the 269 that the parish recorded the previous year.
In his address at Friday's ceremony, Superintendent Gary McKenzie, operations officer for St James, noted that the Jamaica Constabulary Force is dedicated to the protection of citizens' rights.
"We have our public-police interaction policy that clearly outlines how we should treat citizens ... and the police will be partnering with the Office of the Public Defender to ensure that citizens' rights are protected," said McKenzie.