Promised Hopewell police post poised to become a reality
Superintendent Sharon Beeput, the commander of the Hanover police, said the residents’ plea for the establishment of a police post in the Hopewell community in the parish is being taken seriously, as behind-the-scene working is taking place to have the facility operational as early as possible.
The idea for the establishment of a police post in the popular township was first broached in early 2018 by Beeput. The requisite approval was given by the Ministry of Local Government in April 2019 for a building owned by the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC) in Hopewell to be leased to the Ministry of National Security for the peppercorn rate of $1,000 per year, to allow the facility to be established.
Hopewell is the second-largest town in Hanover. It is the only one of the six major towns in the parish without a police facility. According to residents, the Sandy Bay Police Station, which is some four miles away, is not satisfying their needs for increased security.
Derrick Wright, president of the Hopewell Citizens’ Association, and Petra Foster, chairman of the Hopewell Community Development Committee, say they are frustrated with the situation, knowing that Hopewell is the fastest-growing commercial and residential area in Hanover.
“A police facility would automatically increase the police presence in the area, and as such, reduce their response time when incidents occur. We are also prepared to work along with corporate Jamaica and assist with making the officers assigned to this area comfortable and welcome,” said Wright.
“Such a facility (police post) is needed in the Hopewell area from like yesterday, bearing in mind the level of criminal activity that is taking place, I also think some explanation is long overdue to the residents of the area as to why it is taking so long for the implementation of the facility,” stated Foster.
Meanwhile, Lucea Mayor Sheridan Samuels says he is ready to sign off on any form of documentation to make the facility a reality. Superintendent Beeput says officials from the National Land Agency are due to conduct a valuation of the property given by the HMC, following which the Police High Command will decide whether or not the offer will be accepted.
“I am pushing for it because it is really needed, so there will be further details on it as time progresses,” explained Superintendent Beeput, who initiated the ideas and got any stakeholders to support her efforts.