Police personnel in Falmouth are now serving the public from a new state-of-the- art complex, which was constructed by the Government at a cost of $272.8 million.
The new Falmouth Police Station, located on Rodney Street, boosts modern amenities for police personnel and prisoners, and the latest in security features.
It replaces the original station, located just across the road, which had outlived its usefulness and was ordered closed several years ago, due to health and security concerns.
With the drive towards the total transformation of the town of Falmouth and the Government making several infrastructural investments in the parish of Trelawny, the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) was approached to complete the facility, through funding from the Petrocaribe Fund.
The work was carried out by the Engineering Regiment of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), with assistance from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and other partners.
The new police station was officially opened by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, and Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, on Wednesday (March 6), with hundreds of residents from the parish and several police personnel present.
At the ceremony, Lieutenant Colonel David Cummings, outlined the scope of work carried out since the JDF took on the project in May 2011.
“In addition to the full engineering capabilities of the regiment, which included at one point, 237 JDF engineers, on site with us were a number of other partners to include 25 tradesmen pulled from across the ranks of the JCF, as well as 60 locally hired artisans, 50 HEART/Trust NTA trainees, and 33 interns from the Citizens Security and Justice Programme (CSJP),” he informed.
He noted that the complex, which comprises several buildings, satisfies the architectural guidelines of the Jamaica National Heritage Trust (JNHT). The complex is protected by modern fire detection and alarm, and has a high-tech security system.
“We have built accommodations for 50 prisoners, with each cell having penal grade stainless steel, anti-suicide toilets and sinks inside the cells, as well as Supermax quality locks and water-saving penal shower facilities,” Lieutenant Colonel Cummings informed.
There are conference, training and operations rooms; separate wings for the traffic and criminal investigation departments; a special area to accommodate the operations of the Centre For Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA); administrative offices; and secure storage areas.
The station has living accommodations for 200 policemen, with kitchen and dining areas, and there are adequate bathroom facilities throughout the complex. The car park can accommodate 110 vehicles.
Prime Minister Simpson Miller, in her remarks, highlighted the Government’s thrust towards institutional improvements within the JCF and strengthening of the partnership between the police and citizens.
“My administration believes in placing the interests of the community and residents at the centre of national security policy,” she stated.
Commissioner of Police, Owen Ellington, in his address at the official opening of the facility, expressed appreciation to the Government and all other agencies, organisations and individuals involved in the project.
He said that police personnel in Falmouth, who have long been fragmented, as they have had to operate from four different locations in the town, will now serve the public from one site.
Commissioner Ellington noted that not only will the station serve the needs of Falmouth, but the entire Area One region, which, in addition to Trelawny, also takes in St. James, Hanover and Westmoreland.
He informed it will accommodate the regional conference and training facilities, which will be used to deliver “continuous training to our men and women on this side of the country.”
Commissioner Ellington said that a section of the complex will also be used as a base for a contingent from the JCF Mobile Reserve and a Major Investigations team. A regional recruiting centre for the JCF will also be located there.
Minister Bunting, heaped praises on the JDF’s engineering team for completing the facility at a fraction of the cost and within reasonable time.
By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter