August 04, 2020 – With its first anniversary just days away, the newly formed JCF Specialized Operations Branch had its first ministerial visit today at Harman Barracks in Kingston; In attendance were the Honourable Dr. Horace Chang, Minister of National Security, Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson as well as other senior officers and dignitaries, for the tour of the Joint Information Operations and Command Centre (JIOCC) and other facilities at the branch.
These include a Criminal Investigations Unit, Specialized Operations Intelligence Unit, Logistics and Administration, the JIOCC, Special Weapons, and Tactics among others.
To date, the branch has seen significant upgrades in equipment, expansion of the facility, growing human resource, and advancement in technology – in partnership with the JCF’s Technology Branch – as the JCF makes significant strides in its modernization apparatus.
Head of the Specialized Operations Branch, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) of Warren Clarke noted in his address that the branch has come a long way and thanked the Minister for the government’s commitment to providing the necessary funding to effect real transformation of the JCF.
“Building a formation from the ground up is never easy; to build a new culture of performance, professionalism, discipline, accountability in values of ethics on one hand and restoring and maintaining an approximately 100-year-old plant on the other, work remains in progress as we simultaneously transform yet another component of the force, while providing essential security service to the people of Jamaica,” said ACP Clarke.
The National Security Minister re-iterated the government’s commitment to funding the development and modernization of the JCF. He noted that:
“The government is committed to maintaining a substantial level of investment in the Police Force until we get it where it should be,” said Minister Chang. He continued, “The Police Force has done good work…the investment is to bring about change in the facility, the equipment and to ensure you have a force for good that is capable of dealing with criminals today.”
Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson thanked the team at the branch, who he stated has the will and the support required to move the force in the right direction.
“When we speak of transformation, it is not a theoretical thing nor is it a re-labelling. There are real changes taking place. It is a lot of work for a short period of time and while we do this modernization work, we are also highly operational,” said Commissioner Anderson. He added that the transformation of the branch is one of approximately six formations of the force that have so far been reformed.
In 2019, Minister Chang announced changes to be made to the management and structure of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, which included the reorganization of the then Mobile Reserve Division.
Since its formation, over 50 firearms have been seized as well as more than 1100 rounds of ammunition, the arrest of 256 individuals of which, more than 70 were designated as wanted by the Police.