W’land welcomes police HQ plans
Business, civic, and political leaders in Westmoreland have hailed the news that the Government will construct a $200-million state-of-the-art police divisional headquarters in the parish as a step in the right direction.
“The parish has been grappling with the terrible crime monster for years while the security officers cry out for more and better resources,” said the Reverend Hartley Perrin, custos of Westmoreland, who noted that the new police HQ had been promised quite a while ago.
“I, therefore, welcome this announcement with a sense of elation. The building of a state-of-the-art facility to house our police persons and assist them in the lawful execution of their duties is good news for the parish,” added Perrin.
Last week, Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke announced that the Government would be spending $200 million to build the long-awaited police headquarters to replace the dilapidated facility on Great George Street in Savanna-la-Mar. The new facility will be based in Llandilo, on the outskirts of the parish capital.
With work scheduled to commence in April, the Government is anticipating that 40 per cent of the construction will be completed during the fiscal year 2021-22 financial year and wrap up in March of 2024.
“The citizens of this parish deserve it. No one can deny the critical need and urgency that surround the implementation of such a plan,” argued Perrin.
Moses Chybar, president of the Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also welcomed the development.
“It’s long overdue, but thank God, it’s here finally. I think it will make a major difference in terms of how the members of the police force execute their duties,” said Chybar, who said that it will be a morale-booster.
“Where they are now is a very small space, so with a new building and location, it will certainly give them more room to operate from, to include the provision of adequate barracks space to accommodate the members when they have to stay over,” said Chybar. “This new police HQ is poised to bring greater synergy between the local residents, the business community, and the police in helping to make the parish safe.” Savanna-la-Mar Mayor Bertel Moore said that he was pleased that the Government will now be moving ahead with the project.
“The police have been very uncomfortable where they are in that old building. It’s really time for them to have something that will make them more comfortable,” said Moore. “I am very grateful for this new development. The more comfortable they are, the better service, I am quite sure, we will get.”