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  • Tourism and Entertainment Minister, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, says the Ministry is committed to building new barracks at the Ocho Rios Police Station for officers to patrol the resort town.
  • Dr. McNeill said the commitment came about as a result of challenges of accommodation at the station.
  • Labour for the new barracks will be provided free of cost by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

Tourism and Entertainment Minister, Hon.  Dr. Wykeham McNeill, says the Ministry is committed to building new barracks at the Ocho Rios Police Station for officers to patrol the resort town.

Addressing the handing over ceremony for the Ocho Rios Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Surveillance System at the Ocho Rios Police Station on September 3,  Dr. McNeill said the commitment came about as a result of challenges of accommodation at the station.

“The new surveillance system was fully integrated in the Jamaica Constabulary Force  operations in July 2015 with the recruitment of  12 sworn and trained District Constables,” Dr. McNeill noted.

“Their main task is to view and observe, on a twenty four hour basis, live video images from each camera location. As a result, the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) has provided funding for the construction of new barracks to accommodate these officers at a cost of $2.6 million,” the Minister said.

Labour for the new  barracks will be provided free of cost by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

“We will also be doing renovation work on sections of the facility, including putting in toilet fixtures and plumbing repairs and also some general painting. The Tourism Master Plan mandates that the TEF ensures the full development of our traditional resort areas,” the Minister added.

He said that this is critical to the economic and social well being of the people who live in these areas, adding that over the last two years, the Ministry, through the TEF, has provided over $241 million towards the safety and security of Jamaica.

“These include: $50 million to rehabilitate the Negril Police Station, $45 million to repair police vehicles, $35 million to purchase motor vehicles to patrol resort areas, and $40 million for the acquisition of boats, engines and other equipment as part of the Marine Resource Upgrading Programme,” the Minister added.

Dr. McNeill emphasized that tourism plays such a critical role in national development, that it is imperative that all stakeholders see the need to ensure that the sector continues to grow.

“Of equal importance is the task of managing the sector so that its benefits are felt by all Jamaicans throughout the island. We can achieve this by way of linkages with other sectors as well as the development of heritage sites and places of interest in small communities,” he noted.

Meanwhile, the Minister  pointed out that in 2014 alone, a $400 million Transformational Ocho Rios Enhancement Programme got underway, with Phase Three, which will see the redevelopment of the $114 million seaside boardwalk/promenade project that leads east to Main Street, set to go out to tender in the next three weeks.

“Phase one transformed the Turtle River Road into a true promenade, which now offers a well landscaped pedestrian walkway that runs parallel to the paved roadway, and with ease of access to adjacent businesses as well as providing several rest areas,” he informed.

“Phase two significantly improved the terminal building and cruise ship pier,” the Minister  added.

Dr. McNeill  said that  Phase Four  of the project will entail the rehabilitation of Main Street.

“The multi-million dollar improvement works have been successfully implemented with the support of the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), the National Works Agency (NWA), and the Ocho Rios Resort Board. Other TEF funded projects in the resort town include the restoration of the Ocho Rios Courthouse, at a cost of $26.5million, and the refurbishing of the Ocho Rios Art Gallery at a cost of $5.5million,” the Minister said.