Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, has charged Justices of the Peace (JPs) and other community leaders to do their part in alleviating the scourge of crime and violence in Jamaica.
“I am depending on those of you who serve as JPs and leaders in the community, to uphold high standards and work with all your might to mitigate against crime and violence, which is a pandemic that is crippling our nation,” the Governor-General stated.
He was addressing JPs from Kingston at a meeting held yesterday (Sept. 9) at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
The Governor-General urged the JPs to use their position to work to build unity and togetherness within the communities that they serve. “You have the confidence as JPs and leaders of the communities, and the respect of the citizens, and we expect that you will use that to build trust among contending factions or to solve petty disputes before they evolve into something unmanageable,” he pointed out.
The Head of State, who is also a JP, further contended that there is much that JPs can do in solving problems and issues within their respective communities. “You are there in the community; bring the folk together, talk with them, and solve the problems – this is expected of us who serve as Justices of the Peace,” he stated.
Noting that JPs are the largest group of volunteers in Jamaica, the Governor-General further pointed out that this group is expected “to exercise multiple roles in the parish and in your communities. You are going to be serving as pedagogues, pastors, politicians and physicians too.”
His Excellency encouraged the JPs present to take advantage of every opportunity to motivate and encourage the people around them to keep their focus despite life’s challenges.
“You have to be…strong, courageous and continue to uphold the principles and values of honesty, hard work, discipline and commitment to service. Guard your integrity and be a part of the positive solution for Jamaica as the nation moves forward,” he further implored.
Also at the meeting, hosted by Custos of Kingston, Rev. Canon Weeville Gordon, were members of the Lay Magistrates Association of Jamaica (Kingston Chapter); and the Mayor of Kingston, Senator Desmond McKenzie.