Ground was broken today (August 14), for the construction of a new state-of-the-art police post at the Ian Fleming International Airport (IFIA) in the parish of St. Mary, at a cost of $40 million.
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, Senator the Hon. Matthew Samuda; and Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Robert Montague, took part in the activity at the front of the airport where the police post will be constructed.
Funding will be provided by the Airports Authority of Jamaica.
The new post will consist of a single-storey 2,000 sq. ft. building with a reception area, a guardroom, holding cells, a washroom, an interview room, a kitchen, a lunchroom and a Superintendent’s office. Construction is slated for completion in October.
The existing police post at the IFIA is housed in a caravan.
In his address, Minister Samuda said the construction forms part of the Ministry’s project, Rebuild, Overhaul, Construct (ROC).
“Project ROC seeks to convert police stations into modern, citizen-friendly workspaces [and] provide officers with a comfortable environment conducive to work, while creating an atmosphere for citizens to willingly and comfortably engage the police,” he said.
Senator Samuda said the condition of the previous police post was beyond ideal, and commended the Airports Authority of Jamaica for leading the $40-million project.
For his part, Mr. Montague said the officers were in need of a new post because the container they use “is falling apart on the inside”.
The Minister also noted that plans are still in place for the expansion of services provided by the IFIA.
“The vision for this facility is for it to be a regional hub where we will welcome shorter planes within a 700 miles radius; jets that will carry up to 70 passengers, and before COVID-19, we were well on the way in having an airline making this their hub flying out of Fort Lauderdale International, but because of COVID-19, things have been set back a little bit,” Mr. Montague said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Clifford Blake, offered thanks on behalf of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
He said the new Area Two police post will be of major significance and an investment that will boost the morale of the officers assigned to the area.
“It is of significance, because from a law-enforcement standpoint, it is no secret that, currently, we are down in terms of our establishment. We are trying to build the number, but whilst we continue to work with the dedicated officers we have, what is important is that we give them the right equipment and the right facilities to perform. That is the only guarantee that we will get maximum productivity from those loyal members,” he said.