Sun | Jul 12, 2020

Gov't spending $5B to rebuild, overhaul and construct police facilities

Published:Sunday | August 11, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang (centre), in discussion with Member of Parliament for North West St Catherine Robert Pickersgill (left), and Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson, while at the ceremonial opening of the Shady Grove Police Station in Lluidas Vale, St Catherine, on Friday.

The Government is spending over $5 billion to improve conditions at some 200 police stations across the island.

National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang made the announcement at the ceremonial opening of the Shady Grove Police Station in Lluidas Vale, St Catherine on Friday. The improvement works are to be done under an initiative called ‘Rebuild, Overhaul, and Construct’ (R.O.C), he said.

The objective of project R.O.C is to convert all police stations into modern, citizen friendly work spaces, provide officers with a comfortable environment conducive for work, while creating the ambiance for citizens to willingly and comfortably engage the police.

“We are on target to impact 149 of the 186 police stations in operation, by March 2020. Never before in the history of Jamaica has a government invested so heavily in securing our nation,” he said.

“In every community, particularly rural communities, the public health centre, the primary school, and the police stations, are the foundations upon which community spirit and community identity are built,” the security minister added.

Chang said the security ministry has prioritised investing in the security architecture as a means of improving crime outcomes.

“We are investing heavily in ensuring that officers are appropriately equipped to carry out their duties effectively, including through the use of less lethal equipment,” he stated.

Chang informed that through continued partnership with the National Housing Trust and the Jamaica Social Investment Fund, the Ministry of National Security is leading the charge of improving the quality of police stations in order to reduce crime and criminality.

Chang explained that in seeking to improve the work of the police in maintaining public safety and engaging the community, it is important that the physical infrastructure are “fit for the purpose”.

He noted that the data show that there is a direct relation between the performance of police stations, and the murder rate, in their station areas, adding that by improving the physical space, officers are better able to perform their duties more efficiently.

The Shady Grove Police Station serves communities such as Pennington, Top Hill, Garden Hill, Lemon Hall, Tydixon, Juan-de Bolas, St. John, and Roaring River.