Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson-Miller, has said that the Government is pursuing a three-pronged approach to national security and the safety of the Jamaican people.
She identified the strategies as: institutional improvements; targeting organized crime; and engendering trust.
“We have been building the human resource capacity, increasing training, improving skills and the technology available to the police force,” the Prime Minister outlined.
Mrs. Simpson Miller was speaking at the official opening of the newly constructed Falmouth Police Station, in Trelawny, on March 6.
The Prime Minister pointed out that the policy of the Government is to transform the Police Force into a modern, more effective, responsive and responsible police service.
“The transformation is required if we are to achieve our national development goal of creating a Jamaican society that is safe, cohesive and just,” she emphasized.
She noted that over the last year the Government spent some $500 million to upgrade police facilities islandwide, despite the funding constraints being experienced in all departments.
The Prime Minister said this was done so that the police can be more comfortable, and the public can receive better service.
“My administration believes in strengthening partnerships between the police and the community, and placing the interest of the community and residents at the centre of national security policy,” she said.
Mrs. Simpson Miller called for unity, peace and love to be practised in the communities across the island, noting that the lack thereof forms part of the challenges being experienced by the country. She emphasized that strong united communities will lead to strong parishes, and ultimately a strong nation.
She argued that crime fighting strategies will only succeed in strong united communities with a resolve to stand up against criminal activities.
Construction of the Falmouth Police Station was implemented by the Engineering Regiment of the Jamaica Defence Force, with assistance from the Jamaica Constabulary Force. It was built at a cost of approximately $270 million by the government, through the Urban Development Corporation, with support from the Petro Caribe Development Fund.
The complex has several buildings, with living accommodation for up to 200 police officers, cells for up to 50 prisoners, and several other facilities.