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Police Firearm And Tactical Training Unit Under Review, Says High Command

The Police High Command has disclosed that the Firearm and Tactical Training Unit is under review following claims that the unit is being disbanded. While a release from the high command last night did not confirm that the unit was being scrapped it hinted of a possible merger with other formations. The unit located at the Police Academy at Twickenham Park in St Catherine provides training in firearm usage in compliance with use of force and firearm policies. However, yesterday Opposition Spokesperson on National Security, Derrick Smith, expressed concern that the unit was being disbanded and the staff transferred because of overseas pressure. He said he had been informed that the unit was blacklisted under America&;s Leahy Amendment. That law prohibits the US Department of State and Department of Defence from providing assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights with impunity. Smith was concerned that the developments come ahead of the start of the enquiry into the 2010 incursion in Tivoli in which members of the unit participated. The statement last night from the High Command did not address claims in relation to the US law. However, it hints that the firearm and tactical training unit could be merged with other agencies in the Jamaica Constabulary Force.