‘Country and citizen development’ a priority for top Nat’l Security official

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Dianne McIntosh, at her office in Kingston. (Photo: Mark Bell, JIS)

Since joining the public sector at the Ministry of Education in 1983, where she worked for 13 years, her goal of playing a role in the development of Jamaica and its citizens has remained at the forefront for Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Dianne McIntosh. 

McIntosh, in an interview with JIS News, contended that her passion for helping persons in vulnerable communities to develop skills and become economically independent aligns well with the ministry’s objectives.

“The ministry’s core business is crime management and crime prevention. Because of my sociology and education background, I have an obvious sentiment for the social-intervention programmes. We have a crime problem that is driven socially by the lack of attention or resources at the community level, so I am able to contribute quite a bit to the scoping out of the type of programmes we are to do,” she noted.

“The Community Safety and Security Strategy that was developed in 2012 was done under my remit as the Permanent Secretary and it still guides the type of strategies that we have been rolling out in the social intervention in communities under the  Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs) and States of Public Emergency (SOEs),” McIntosh added.

According to McIntosh, the success of initiatives such as the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), highlights how critical the community interventions are to the reduction of crime.

McIntosh, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, makes a point during an interview with JIS News at her office in Kingston. (Photo: Mark Bell, JIS)

“We identified that in order to manage the levels of crime at the community level, we had to go into the space, but the focus of the agenda was to reduce crime and that meant we had to look at the gaps, the training needs, the psychosocial needs and what it was that was creating these high levels of violence in these communities,” the permanent secretary told JIS News. 

Her passion for youth and their transformation has also seen McIntosh working closely with various programmes that utilise music, sports and technology to develop young persons in vulnerable communities.

“I like youth energy and I am able to listen to what young people have to say. This time around, as the permanent secretary, we have been using the music, sports and arts, which are what young people love. If you want to show them that you are listening to them, these are the tools that we need to use to engage them,” she said.

Years later, McIntosh noted that she remains still highly motivated daily to keep giving her best, because of the impact the ministry has on the lives of persons.

“In my role, we handle investments in our nation’s security and social development, so the wide scale of our work keeps me motivated. Also, seeing the tangible effect of the work within communities shows me that our work is impacting lives in so many ways,” she indicated.