Gareth Davis, Gleaner Writer
PORT ANTONIO, Portland:
NATIONAL SECURITY Minister Peter Bunting on Wednesday committed to repairing three police stations in Portland which suffered damage during the passage of Hurricane Sandy last month.
Bunting, who was accompanied by president of the Police Federation Sergeant Raymond Wilson, first visited the Port Antonio station, then Orange Bay, before concluding the Portland leg of the tour at the Buff Bay station, where he told the media that repairs to the three facilities are to begin as early as next week.
"First, let me commend the men and women for their courage and gallantry," said Bunting. "These policemen and women displayed acts of bravery and were out in numbers ensuring the safety of residents, even though electrical power was out.
The Buff Bay station is the worst of three that were affected in this parish, and the member of parliament for this constituency, Daryl Vaz, has committed to assist with the restoration, and whatever amount of funding that he comes up with, it will be matched by the Ministry of National Security."
According to Bunting, work on the Buff Bay Police Station will begin in another three weeks or less, and a contractor has already done an estimate on the building. He noted that the actual cost of the repairs is estimated at $1.674 million.
Earlier, the minister toured sections of the Port Antonio station including the bunk area, traffic department, office of the Criminal Investigative Branch, the superintendent's office, the Island Special Constabulary Force office, and the Marine Police headquarters, which suffered damage to their roofs.
Police personnel at the Orange Bay station pointed to the deplorable state of the roof. The minister also pledged to intervene in a long-standing dispute with the owners of the property which currently houses the station, who for more than four years have expressed their intention to use the building to operate a business.