National Security Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting, said that the security forces will need approximately 500 vehicles per year, over the next six years, to operate effectively.
He said the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) will need some 400 vehicles, and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), 100 units per year, over the period.
The National Security Minister was a addressing the weekly meeting of Rotary Club of Liguanea Plains held on Thursday (January 10), at the Eden Gardens Complex, 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 explained.
Mr. Bunting informed that 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.
“Meanwhile, Mr. Bunting informed that the Ministry will 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, etcetera. So that’s one of the things that we are focused on,” he stated.