Mon | Nov 30, 2020

Port Antonio gets new police facility

Published:Monday | July 27, 2020 | 12:07 AMGareth Davis Sr/Gleaner Writer
The newly constructed divisional police station in Port Antonio.
The newly constructed divisional police station in Port Antonio.

Describing his administration as the “advocate for change”, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that improving the infrastructure of the country and making better the working conditions of members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is a priority.

Holness, who on Friday declared the state-of-the-art divisional police station in Port Antonio officially open, said, “$2 billion has been set aside for the upgrading of police stations. No other government has ever done that before. To date, $662 million has been committed and of that, $450 million has been spent. The Government values the tremendous contribution of our security forces and recognises the immense challenges that they face.

“We are committed to creating a safer, healthier, and more secure working environment for our police force as it pursues its mission to serve, protect, and reassure. The total projected cost for the Port Antonio station was $104 million. The renovations here are practically complete, with expenditure, to date, of just under $92 million. That is, we are, so far, under budget.”

Extensive upgrades

According to Holness, the work at the Port Antonio station required the demolition and reconstruction of the divisional headquarters, the police station itself, the living quarters, and cell areas. He said additional upgrades were also done, including fencing, installation of grills, gates, staircases and balconies, along with paving and marking of the courtyard.

“The station is equipped with a fully functional kitchen and other amenities for officers who will have to spend more than eight hours on the premises. Indeed, you will have officers who will reside on premises. Before I came here, I stopped at Buff Bay. The work being done there (on the station) is projected to cost $95 million. In Buff Bay, we are constructing a multi-storey building to house the police station, inclusive of living quarters for the police and a 40-man cell facility,” Holness added.

Earlier, Minister of National Security Dr Horace Change pointed out that construction of the new station provides the police with a new divisional headquarters, which is aimed at transforming the lives and operations of members of the JCF.

“This Government is ensuring that we provide the police with the relevant tools,” said Chang.

“Part of what we are doing is to ensure that the police have proper working facility to operate in. The Government is committed to investing in the public safety of the country and to create an organisation that not only insures public safety, but to disrupt the modern gangs that beset our country. This building will definitely boost the moral of police officers here.”