KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Jamaican officials settled the details of a
plan to bolster security in resort areas with military resources.
In a meeting held this week here. the Ministry of Tourism and
the Ministry of National Security and Justice agreed that civil
defense units would serve as backup for police departments in the
island nation's resort areas. The security will be added
incrementally during the coming months, a spokesman for the Jamaica
Tourist Board said.
The civil defense members will patrol the beaches and towns in
plainclothes, the spokesman said, adding that the number of
uniformed police officers on bike and foot patrols will be
The program, which was made public last month at the Caribbean
Hotel Association Marketplace in Puerto Rico, will underscore a
zero-tolerance stance against antisocial behavior, comparable to
cleanup efforts in New York by Mayor Rudolph Guiliani, the
Although security will be increased, tourism officials stressed
that potential visitors' stays on the island will not be marred by
the sight of armed troops in the streets of Jamaica's tourist
areas. "There will be no noticeable change to the visitor in terms
of police presence," the spokesman said.
The plan also comes with a community education project from the
Jamaica Tourist Board. The organization, the spokesman said, will
go into schools to educate the residents about the importance of
tourism in the area.
The spokesman said that past moves to intensify security have
had positivie results. During the past 10 years, reported incidents
against visitors have dropped 50%, with a 75% drop in the past two
years, he said.