Sat | Oct 23, 2021

Hopewell one step closer towards establishing a police post

Published:Tuesday | July 20, 2021 | 12:09 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

The plan to establish a police post in Hopewell, Hanover, was placed on a fast track at the recent monthly meeting of the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC), where a decision was taken to give the entire building, where a section was being used to house the Electoral Office of Jamaica (EOJ) Hanover Eastern Office, to the police.

To that end, the EOJ has been served a notice by the HMC to vacate the building. The building is owned by the HMC, but only a section of it was being used.

With Hopewell steadily emerging as a criminal hotspot and the closest police station, the Sandy Bay Police Station, some eight kilometres away, Superintendent Sharon Beeput, the police commander for Hanover, identified the location as being ideal in 2018 and, since then, has been pushing to acquire, initially, a part of the building.

During a recent visit to Hanover, Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson was taken on a tour of the facility and he said he considered it as an ideal facility and location to serve as a police post. The Ministry of Local Government and the HMC had come to an agreement in 2019 that they would happily lease the property to the police for a peppercorn rate of $1,000 per year for 50 years.

“I am really happy that it is finally coming together and I am really looking forward to have police personnel working out of this location as early as possible … it took a lot of hard work to put the various pieces together so naturally, I am quite happy,” said Beeput.

Based on information received by The Gleaner, the EOJ team will be relocating to another location in the Hopewell area by the end of July, which set the stage for the police to start making preparations to move into the building.

During final deliberations on the matter at the HMC meeting, the potential earning power of the building was discussed alongside the security needs of the community. The councillors agreed that the security need was a greater concern and agreed that the police should be given the use of the building.

According to Beeput, the Police High Command has agreed to take on the responsibility of refurbishing the building to satisfy the various needs to make it fully operational. In fact, based on the space now available, she said consideration is now being given as to whether or not they should not just go for a full police station instead of a police post.

“I am sure the residents in Hopewell and its adjoining areas will welcome the arrival of a police facility in that area,” said Beeput.

President of the Hopewell Citizens’ Association, Derrick Wright, and the Hopewell Community Development Committee head, Petra Foster, had both endorsed the project.