Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government is committed to creating a safer, healthier and more secure working environment for members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
He said that the Government values the “tremendous contribution” of the members of the force and recognises the immense challenges that they face.
“As part of the Government’s focus on the rule of law, public security and crime reduction, a number of initiatives to enhance and bolster the effectiveness and efficiency of the Jamaica Constabulary Force has been undertaken… $2 billion has been set aside for the upgrading of police stations,” Mr. Holness said.
“To date, $662 million has been committed, and of that, $450 million has been spent,” he noted.
The Prime Minister was addressing the official opening of the Port Antonio Police Station and Portland Police Divisional Headquarters on Friday (July 24).
The project, initially estimated to cost $104 million, has come in under budget at approximately $91.8 million.
It included demolition and reconstruction of the existing building to include the divisional headquarters, living quarters and a cell area; upgrading of fencing; paving and marking of the courtyard; new appliances for the kitchen, such as a refrigerator and stove for officers who reside on the premises.
Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Area 2, Elbert Nelson, said that the Port Antonio Police is pleased to see “this beautiful transformation”.
“I assure you that the men and women are indeed motivated and we are very grateful,” he said.
“We will take pride in this beautiful edifice that has been prepared for us and we will do you proud as a police force, particularly here in Portland,” he added.
Residents, who came out to witness the opening of the renovated police station, also expressed pleasure.
“A new space with more comfort will better motivate the police officers who serve this town and its adjoining communities,” Jean Barracks told JIS News.
“I love to see it. We are happy that the Prime Minister came to open the building as well. It shows that the Government has not forgotten us,” she added.
Paul Thompson expressed similar sentiments.
“I like the renovated building. It looks good. Better working conditions for the police will equate to better police officers to help us solve problems. They won’t be demotivated and grumpy. The new space will make them happier,” he told JIS News.