Adrian Frater, News Editor
While she not did commit an offence, a library assistant from Falmouth, Trelawny, will go down in history as the first person to spend time locked up in a jail cell at the new Falmouth Police Station, which will also serve as the headquarters for the Trelawny police.
Shortly after the new police station was officially declared open by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and National Security Minister Peter Bunting on Wednesday afternoon, the unfortunate woman, whose curiosity led her to take a close look on the inside of one of the newly constructed cells, inadvertently got locked inside.
"I understand she went into the cell and was having her photograph taken by a friend," a policeman, who asked not to be identified, told The Gleaner. "Somehow, she got locked inside, and she could not be released as the person who had the keys had earlier left for Kingston."
The Gleaner subsequently learnt that the cell block, which has not yet been commissioned into service, is controlled by an electronic system which cannot be opened without the key. The key is required to activate the system.
Fortunately for the woman, after she had spent several hours locked up, the man with the key was finally located. The key was reportedly sent back to Falmouth so that she could be released.
When The Gleaner visited the Falmouth branch of the Trelawny Parish Library, where the library assistant is employed, her co-workers were quite defensive, refusing to reveal her correct name or divulge any other information about her.
"She is not at work today, and I cannot give you any information about her," said Simone Forbes, another library assistant, as she looked in the direction of the cell block located just yards away from the library building.
NOWHERE IN SIGHT
After travelling around the town and making several attempts to get information on the whereabouts of the woman, whose identity this newspaper has chosen not to reveal, The Gleaner finally found someone who could give directions to her home.
When The Gleaner arrived at the woman's home, she was nowhere in sight, but a man who was sweeping the veranda became quite agitated, telling the newspaper she had nothing to tell the media.
While the woman shied away from giving a first-hand account of her experience behind bars, The Gleaner understands that during her ordeal, she complained about being thirsty on account of the staggering heat inside the cell, but it was not possible to provide her with any refreshments.
"The cell is constructed in a way that nobody can push anything inside from the outside … . The door must be opened to access the cell," a policeman told The Gleaner. "She could not get any refreshment or anything … . She just had to bear the conditions and wait until the door was opened."