Sunday 29 March, 2020

Mobile Reserve being disbanded, Bent sent on leave

Head of the Mobile Reserve, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Terrence Bent has been sent on leave and the crimefighting unit is to be disbanded as a major shake-up and reorganisation gets underway inside the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

The announcement was made Thursday by National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang.

The development comes as the JCF continues to reel from the major embarrassment inflicted upon the organisation by Sunday’s incident in Spanish Town in which three alleged rogue Mobile Reserve cops murdered a civilian before one of them was shot and killed and two arrested - one of which has since supposedly escaped.

Another civilian was reportedly shot and killed during a shootout between the alleged rogue cops and their colleagues in the same incident that sent shockwaves across the nation and the diaspora. It has inflicted a major black eye on the JCF as Jamaicans question whether they can trust the police.

In a statement Thursday morning, Chang said Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson “has advised the government that in short order, major changes will come to both the management and oversight of the police force as well as changes of entities within the Force.”

He said Bent, a highly respected cop, was sent on leave to facilitate investigations at Mobile Reserve. At the same time, Assistant Commissioner of Police Warren Clarke is to oversee the winding up of the Mobile Reserve. Clarke will also “develop the framework for a new, vetted, specialised operations organization, properly trained and equipped to respond to current and future threats,” said Chang.

The security minister said the commissioner has also updated the government on the strategic plan for the JCF with the administration giving its commitment of budgetary and legislative support.

“These plans will be executed this year,” Chang said.

And Chang said Anderson will join him at a press conference next week, where more information will be provided.

In the meantime, he is urging members of the public to “support the process of change and reform.”

“We also ask members of the JCF to embrace this evolution and transformation as it will redound to their benefit, that of their family and the nation,” Chang said

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