Security forces need 500 vehicles yearly

KINGSTON — Security Minister Peter Bunting says the security forces will need approximately 500 vehicles per year, over the next six years, to operate effectively.

He said the Jamaica Constabulary Force will need some 400 vehicles, and the Jamaica Defence Force, 100 units per year, over the period, the minister told last week’s meeting of the Rotary Club of Liguanea Plains at the Eden Gardens Complex in St Andrew.

He noted that of the JCF’s fleet of 1,800 vehicles, some 200 had to be abandoned as they were deemed “non-functional” and “we just had to scrap them”, while approximately 50 per cent of the remaining units are over 10-years-old.

These vehicles, he said, are used for patrol of communities, 24 hours per day, seven days per week, “so a 10-year-old police vehicle is like a 25 or 30-year-old domestic vehicle, so you can imagine (it will become) very, very inefficient,” the minister said.

Bunting said the government has a “steady programme replacement of our fleets”, with some $600 million spent during the last six months of 2012, to purchase vehicles for the JCF. More than half of these were delivered during the final quarter of last year and the remainder are slated for delivery during the first three months of 2013.

Bunting told Rotarians that the ministry would be moving to streamline the models and brands of vehicles acquired for the security forces.

“(To have) 28 different makes and 129 different models of vehicles in the police force… that’s just a nightmare for storing parts, maintenance, etc. So that’s one of the things that we are focused on,” he said. (Observer)

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