Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, broke ground for the construction of a new state-of-the-art police station in Lacovia, St. Elizabeth, on Thursday (June 23)
The 5,223-square-foot facility will be built at a cost of $175 million under the Ministry’s ‘Project Rebuild, Overhaul, and Construct’ (ROC), designed to reconstruct, renovate, and retrofit police stations islandwide.
The scope of the project will include the demolition of the existing structure and the construction of a new, two-storey building, which will include living quarters and detention cells, a new sewage disposal system, driveway and boundary walls, and the supply and installation of kitchen and laundry appliances.
Construction of the police station, which is being funded by the National Housing Trust (NHT), is expected to commence in July 2022 and completed over 30 months.
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony, Dr. Chang said that the upgrading of police stations into more modern and efficient workspaces will enable policemen and policewomen to better serve and protect citizens.
“We wanted to send the message clearly, to the country, that the Government is committed, without any reservation, to investing in our security forces and to give them the capacity to respond to the level of violence in the society,” he said.
“There is no other way to deal with the acute violence perpetrated by gangsters and criminals except to have an efficient, strong police force and the force requires certain specific facilities in the modern world. They need a good workplace, and as professionals they must be provided with a space that looks like a professional space,” Dr. Chang added.
The Security Minister reaffirmed that the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) is being adequately equipped with the requisite technology to effectively respond to crime and violence as well as carry out administrative functions.
“The station diaries that were manually written up, manually stored, is paper which is not only cumbersome for the police officers but also in terms of the long-term use. Paper gets wet, damaged or destroyed and affects case management. So, we will ensure that they get computers, smart instruments to be able to communicate quickly and in real time, to be able to manage cases, and to be able to respond quickly,” Dr. Chang said.
For his part, Commissioner of Police, Major General Antony Anderson, said that the new police station will improve the working conditions of police personnel at the facility and boost their morale.
“We are building out the force and building out the support to the team as quickly and as best as we can. The ground-breaking and the partnership with NHT are significant in this pathway of transformation, modernisation and development [of the police force].
Whatever is being built here is for the community,” he said.
Already, six police stations have been constructed across the country under project ROC.
The initiative has the objective of improving the working conditions of the men and women of the JCF and boosting the customer experience of persons who visit the police stations.