JIS News

The government has awarded a contract valued at more than $69 million to Brighton Engineers for the construction of the Bath Police Station in St. Thomas.The new facility will replace the station, which was severely damaged during Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 and since then, police personnel have been working under adverse conditions.
Minister of National Security, Derrick Smith and Managing Director of Brighton Engineers, Oswald Williams signed the contract on Friday (Nov. 16) at the Ministry’s Oxford Road office in Kingston.The contract signing follows the opening of a new police station in Sligoville, St. Catherine on November 14.
Minister Smith, in his remarks, said he is very pleased that “for the second time in one week, I am involved in an exercise towards improving the working conditions of the members of our Constabulary Force”.
He noted that the government is “very strong in ensuring that the working conditions of our police personnel keep on improving” and as such, Cabinet has approved $100 million towards refurbishing facilities, which were damaged during Hurricanes Ivan and Dean, and $30 million to undertake repairs to the Twickenham Training facility in St. Catherine. These sums, he said, are in addition to the $400 million allocated to the Ministry for the 2007/08 fiscal year.
According to Minister Smith, “the improved police facilities and better looking stations will work towards enhancing our thrust in terms of community policing and the relationship between residents and the police”.
“We believe that the stations ought to have a user-friendly atmosphere where the humblest of individuals, the oldest of persons and the youngest child, would feel free to run into the police station because it is attractive and the attitude of the officers is such that it improves the relationship between the community and the police,” he added.
Bath Police Station will be of a modern architectural design, which will serve as the model for the construction of other such facilities in the future.
“We would want to have this standard design for most of the stations island wide so they are easily recognizable to visitors but also to bring some level of uniformity on our architecture,” he explained.
Member of Parliament for Eastern St. Thomas, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, who was at the signing ceremony, commended the Minister for making St. Thomas a priority and expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Bath residents.
“The people of St. Thomas and Bath in particular will be grateful for this police station. In keeping with my own development plan, I believe the police station will fit squarely into the development. I look forward to seeing in this modern edifice, the opportunity for ATM machines.and creating that atmosphere where people feel that it is a comforting thing to go on the compound of a police station,” Dr. Ferguson stated.
Meanwhile, Mr. Williams pledged to do his best to keep the project within time and budget and to ensure that “at the end of the day, you are satisfied.”