Fri | Sep 21, 2018

Building a better ZOSO - JDF amends measures for greater success in new zone

Published:Wednesday | October 18, 2017 | 12:00 AM
A resident of Regent Street is searched by a policeman in Denham Town, Kingston, yesterday.
Police personnel check identification and perform searches in Denham Town, Kingston, after it area was declared the second zone of special operations yesterday.
Detainees seated in a police vehicle in Denham Town, Kingston, yesterday.

To ensure greater success in the second zone of special operations (ZOSO), the security forces have sought to improve elements of their operations, such as stricter control of movement and overall greater convenience for residents.

According to Major Basil Jarrett, the civil military cooperation and media affairs officer for the Jamaica Defence Force, the Kingston Public Hospital, Victoria Jubilee Hospital, Denham Town Police Station and Denham Town Primary were deliberately left outside of the parameters of the zone so persons can access them without traversing through the area.

"The zone is not going to be a transit point. Denham Town has a different set of dynamics at play and we wanted to ensure that we take those dynamics into consideration just so that we can maintain control," Jarrett told The Gleaner, less than two hours after Prime Minister Andrew Holness made the declaration during a press briefing at Jamaica House in St Andrew.

Jarrett said lack of appropriate identification also presented a great challenge for residents seeking to enter and exit Mount Salem - the first ZOSO - while signaling that Denham Town was more advanced in that regard as a result of efforts made by the security forces.

"This time around, we have been speaking with the residents as much as possible, advising them to have proper identification on their person at all times as they move through the zone, and I think that has worked largely for us today (Tuesday), as there isn't as much as a pushback on the business of ID as we saw in Mount Salem," reasoned Jarrett.

He added: "We also wanted to make the process as comfortable as possible for the residents, as a curfew is never convenient, and so, while we understand the disruption that we're going to make in people's lives, we wanted to make the process as comfortable as possible. So, we outfitted every checkpoint with a tent and chair where people can sit down while they're being processed, especially the older folks."

In terms of having two ZOSOs run concurrently, Jarrett said that the zone in Denham Town is being manned mainly by soldiers from the First Battalion Jamaica Regiment while Mount Salem is being overseen by the Second Battalion Jamaica Regiment.

He further said that he expected that residents would view the ZOSO as a partnership to bring real long-term changes through social intervention and community development.





The Denham Town special zone of operations boundaries


Northern boundary: Running along Greenwich Street, Metcalf Street and Race Course Lane. Starting at the intersection of Albert Street and Greenwich Street continuing east along Greenwich Street to Metcalf Street, then moving north along Metcalf Street to Race Course Lane/Blount Street, continuing east along Race Course Lane or Blount Street to a fence line forming the western periphery of the Golden Heights Housing Development, also an extending northern and eastern section of the said development travelling south along Have Gully and continuing to the intersection of William Street and upper Rose Lane.

Eastern boundary: Starting at the intersection of William Street and Upper Rose Lane and continues south along Rose Lane to the intersection of Beeston Street and Rose Lane.

Southern boundary: Starting at the intersection of Beeston Street and Rose Lane, continuing west along Beeston to the intersection with Spanish Town Road.

Western boundary: Runs along Spanish Town Road between Beeston Street and Albert Street. More specifically, starting at the intersection of Beeston Street and Spanish Town Road, continuing northwest along Spanish Town Road to the intersection of North Street and Spanish Town Road and then east on to North Street to the intersection with East Street, moving north along East Street to the corner of the perimeter wall of the Denham Town Primary School, then travelling southwesterly along the perimeter wall of the said Denham Town Primary School and ending along the section of Spanish Town Road and Albert Street in the vicinity of the Denham Town Police Station.

N.B.: The western boundary goes around the Denham Town Primary School, so the school is not in the zone.