Minister Montaque was asked to address the issue of international security on Tuesday night, April 12, 2016 when he hosted a town hall meeting at the Montego Bay Cultural Centre with Prime Minister Andrew Holness as keynote speaker adressing crime in the country.
In raising concern, Montego Bay Community College student Carol Strong noted that ISIS had threatened every country and with Jamaica being the largest English-speaking nation in the Caribbean having over 3 million North American and other tourists on its shores annually, plus the fact that is has a large Christian base, "We're not immune from terrorist threat so I'd like to know what methods the government plans to instill to protect the nation from such an attack," he said.
In response, Minister Montaque said he would not be divulging details of government's plan. "I won't tell you what the government plans to do because this is one minister that is not going to signal the pan of the government when it comes on to national security; you will see it and you will feel it!" he asserted.
He was concerned that "the wrong person may hear the plan."
However, Montaque went on to disclose that on Tuesday morning he held a meetintg in the western city, attended by top security personnel regarding border security , "and I asked the Permanent Secretary to undertake a security audit for the country because we are faced with a number of threats: we are faced with a terrorism threat; we are faced with a cyber attack and our borders are porous and many things are coming into Jamaica that are not from the recognized source."
Minister Montaque said in requesting the audit, he had also asked for "the requisite recommendation because we have to be proactive; we cannot wait until there is an incident then we react. We must have the ability to react but we must also be proactive."
The Minister said he endorsed plans being implemented by Police Commissioner Dr Carl Williams to deal with the national problem of crime and he issued a call for the public support as well as "the full support" of rank and file personnel. Also, he urged "every member of the Force to stay away from corrupt practices" and addressing uniformed officers, he underscored, "You are put in a position to manage and to lead, do not, do not recommend sign-off on a man that he is a hard worker when in your heart you know that he is lazy and him not doing the work."
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