Corporate entities, National Commercial Bank (NCB), LIME, and Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL), have jointly contributed $6 million to the restoration of the Darling Street Police Station, West Kingston, which was damaged during the civil unrest in May.
The initiative was spearheaded by NCB, which sought to mobilize financial assistance to restore the station through partnership with LIME and SVL, whom they approached following discussions with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
Group Managing Director at NCB, Patrick Hylton, Managing Director, Customer Segments, LIME, Garfield Sinclair and SVL Chairman, Paul Hoo, each presented cheques, valued at $2 million, to the Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for West Kingston, the Hon. Bruce Golding, and National Security Minister, Senator Dwight Nelson, during a handing over ceremony at the station on Thursday (August 26).
Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, delivers the main address at the ceremony at the Darling Street Police Station on Thursday (August 26), for the presentation of $6 million by National Commercial Bank (NCB), LIME and Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL), toward the restoration of the station, which was burnt during the civil unrest in May. Seated at the head table are: National Security Minister, Senator Dwight Nelson (right), and Acting Permanent Secretary in hisMinistry, Dianne McIntosh.
Mr. Golding described the contribution as “materially and symbolically significant”, pointing out that the funds will cover a substantial portion of the cost of restoring the station.
“It will take us a good distance, and it is sufficient for us to make arrangements to put that work in hand as quickly as possible, so that we can get this facility back up,” he said.
Mr. Golding described the damage to the station as “typical” of that caused during the events preceding the mounting of a “sustained security offensive” to combat the threat to law and order. He lamented the destruction of the Hannah Town station, for which he said interim arrangements for the resumption of policing activities would be pursued.
He also voiced concern about the damage to the Coronation Market and a number of homes in the area.
Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding (right) enjoys a light moment with Chairman of Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL), Paul Hoo, during a ceremony at the Darling Street Police Station in downtown Kingston on Thursday (August 26) for the presentation of $6 million by SVL, National Commercial Bank (NCB) and LIME, toward the restoration of the station, which was burnt during the civil unrest in May.
The Prime Minister said that, symbolically, the gesture represented the kind of private/public sector partnership on which Jamaica’s future will depend, as the challenge of making up the huge accumulated development deficit, could not be undertaken by government alone.
It requires partnership, not just in terms of the private sector doing what they do best, which is investing and producing and creating jobs and creating wealth, but also in the public causes and purposes to which they so often commit themselves, as is the case today,” Mr. Golding contended.
Mr. Hylton said that, in light of the unrest, which he described as “unfortunate’, NCB was proud to be in a position to support the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) efforts to restore the station.
While lamenting the destruction of the station as a ‘grim visual” of the challenges Jamaica faces, he said NCB, as a corporate citizen, could not allow the image of the burnt station to be “the last image in the memory of the Darling Street Police Station.”
“I appeal to the citizens of Darling Street and its environs to take pride in the new facility that will occupy the plot where this building now stands. Peace of mind and security are priceless. It is our hope that through the donations we have made, you will be able to achieve both,” Mr. Hylton said.
Deputy Police Commissioner, and the JCF’s Inspector General, Charles Scarlett, who represented the Commissioner, thanked the entities for recognising the need to lend their assistance.
“Indeed, this provides ample proof that corporate Jamaica understands some of the difficulties we face, and are anxious to make life a little more comfortable (for the police),” DCP Scarlett said.
Following the ceremony, Mr. Golding and National Security Minister, Senator Dwight Nelson, viewed the Hannah Town Police station, as well as restoration works being undertaken at the Coronation Market.