JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Residents of Gregory Park, St. Catherine, are set to benefit from a $15 million community resource centre.
  • The facility, which was officially opened today (November 18), was constructed under the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Community Empowerment and Transformation Project, Phase II (COMET II).
  • The Gregory Park Community Resource Centre boasts a Community Development Council/Community-Based Organisations (CDC/CBO) office, and space for community-based policing, civic events, and business enterprise activities.

Residents of Gregory Park, St. Catherine, are set to benefit from a $15 million community resource centre.

The facility, which was officially opened today (November 18), was constructed under the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Community Empowerment and Transformation Project, Phase II (COMET II).

The Gregory Park Community Resource Centre boasts a Community Development Council/Community-Based Organisations (CDC/CBO) office, and space for community-based policing, civic events, and business enterprise activities.

It is also outfitted with water catchment facilities, solar panels, environmentally safe waste disposal, and disaster risk reduction (DRR) equipment.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and Member of Parliament for East Central St. Catherine, Arnaldo Brown, expressed appreciation for the centre.

“We are extremely grateful for the relationship between Jamaica and the United States.  It is a worthwhile initiative and I am very certain that residents are going to be very proud of this resource centre,” Mr. Brown said.

For his part, United States Ambassador to Jamaica, Luis Moreno, said the facility will boost relations between citizens and the police.

“We are talking about a win-win situation and we are talking about community policing. It’s a basic concept of respecting each other…this is what it is all about,”

Mr. Moreno said.

Executive Member of the Gregory Park CDC, Patricia McLean, noted that the creation of the centre will lead to a safer community and facilitate youth empowerment.

“The US Embassy, local CBOs and other civic society entities will implement capacity building/training programmes geared at boosting the social enterprise model,” she informed.

“Gregory Park finally has a community hub for positive growth and we will see to it that this carries on,” she pledged.

The COMET II project is working in 25 targeted communities in Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Catherine, Clarendon and St. James.

It seeks to strengthen the CDC as a coordinating body in each of the communities by assisting them to attain legal status; provide capacity building and technical assistance focused on improving civic participation in local governance; and enhancing capacity and sustainability of the entities.

One of the core objectives is to promote community-driven activities to contribute to crime prevention, intervention, and enforcement by addressing underlying causes of crime, and promoting improved communication and interaction between the citizenry and police.

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