MoBay to get residential complex to house police
National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang said the Government will be constructing a police dormitory to house 300 police personnel in St James. He said it will allow the police to conduct regular operations even after the ongoing state of public emergency in the parish ends.
"We are going to build a 300 [-man] police residence, and I am not going to use the term 'barracks'. That's the old style," said Chang, while addressing a town hall meeting in Montego Bay last Thursday evening.
"The army (Jamaica Defence Force) has barracks, but they are well built, and when they build barracks for police they build something like school dormitory, which I don't think is appropriate to put professionals to live in."
Chang said the police residential complex, which will be built on 18 acres of land, will ensure that there is adequate housing to have a strong police presence in the region at all times.
"When we get police to come into Montego Bay to deal with increased criminal activities, we have to beg hotel rooms," said Chang. "When its summer season, we get decent rooms, when its winter season, they put them in all kinds of corner and the policemen live in three or five places, all over.
"It's difficult," said Chang, in explaining the current situation. "We will build a quality residence for officers, superintendents, inspectors and sergeants of the constabulary force, including the Mobile Reserve members. Everybody will be hosted in quality residence in Montego Hills, where the station is.
"It's a three-storey dormitory building, an administrative building, auditorium facilities, which can be shared with the community. It will be a high-security facility, consisting of paved roads, swimming pool, playing field and other activities that can enhance [the area] as a police community," he said.
Construction of the facility is scheduled to commence in April 2019 and is expected to be completed by December that year.