Thu | May 28, 2020

Chang commits to improving facilities at 200 police stations islandwide

Published:Tuesday | October 2, 2018 | 12:00 AMGareth Davis Sr/Gleaner Writer
Workmen laying the foundation for the improved Buff Bay police station.
A section of the Port Antonio Police station which is undergoing construction.

National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang has committed to the restoration of approximately 200 police stations islandwide, which are currently in a state of disrepair.

Chang, who along with police commissioner, Major General Anthony Anderson, toured the Port Antonio and Buff Bay police stations, told journalists on Thursday that Government is committed to improving the condition of police stations by making them more user-friendly and attractive.

The minister said that the construction of the Port Antonio station will see the setting up of minimum standards for the facility, which will also see an increase in space from 7,000 square feet to 17,000 square feet.

"It is going to be more user-friendly for both the public and law enforcement officers," said Chang.

"Office space will be designed like offices that are serving our population. You don't walk into a guardroom to make a complaint, but rather into a reception area where you can be interviewed and spoken to in privacy by a professional. Naturally, it's a secured area, and therefore it has to designed in a special way."


$3-billion commitment


"We have a budget commitment of $3 billion to spread across 122 stations and the work ranges from basic improvement, sanitation, to reconstruction. Currently, we are committed to building three divisional headquarters - Port Antonio, Port Maria, and Savanna-la-Mar. I am adding to that, Spanish Town. We want to ensure that divisional headquarters are institutions where law enforcement officers can see it as their operational headquarters, and Jamaicans that go there can attend an office that operates in a professional manner," he added.

According to Chang, he is committed to ensure that all divisional headquarters are upgraded and provided with the necessary equipment, which are ideal for the police to carry out their day-to-day operations. He noted that his ministry has also given a commitment that the country will have good police stations across the island in two years' time.

Meantime, Major General Anderson said that there is a need to have confidential officers who operate out of good facilities, so that when the public comes in, it will be a welcoming environment.

"There are a number of facilities that are less than desirable and some are dilapidated", he said.

"However, we can fix them all, as there is just under 200 buildings (stations) that are affected. We can maintain 200 buildings in Jamaica. We will keep delivering better and better service. This type of arrangement where we build better facilities is critical to building that bridge with the Jamaican public. It will be a welcoming environment, where those complaining can do so in privacy. The Jamaica Constabulary Force is here for every Jamaican," Major Anderson added.