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The St. James Parish Council yesterday (January 18) handed over space in the Charles Gordon market to the Area One Police for the setting up of a police post.

The approximately 264 square feet of space is part of a complete facility, which was built at a cost of approximately $3.2 million.

Mayor of Montego Bay and Chairman of the St. James Parish Council, Councillor Glendon Harris, in his comments at the brief handing over ceremony, noted that the establishment of the police post at the market, located on Fustic Road, is part of a plan to attract more visitors to the facility.

“We need to make this, as is the case in most other jurisdictions, that the local fruits and vegetable market/food market is an attraction,” he stated.

He said that the St James Parish Council has embarked on a concerted effort to put order into vending at the market, which has brought back some amount of civility and dignity to shopping at the facility, noting that even tour buses have started to revisit the market.

“I invite every well-thinking citizen of the parish to come and assist us in ensuring that the Charles Gordon Market is a place of pride,” he stated, while also calling for the full support of the vendors.

Assistant Commissioner of Police in Charge of Area one, Devon Watkis, in accepting the facility, informed that a team of approximately 14 police personnel will be posted there. 

He said they will be tasked with ensuring that consumers and vendors can conduct business in a safe and secure environment so as to enhance commerce.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, in his address, emphasised the importance of conforming to the laws of the land regarding the proper disposal of garbage. 

He said that a stringent system of prosecution will begin soon to cut down on public littering.  “Whether it is a sweetie paper, a bottle, or a bag or garbage itself, we are going to begin a process to enforce the law, because we have to bring decency and sanity to the country,” he stated.

The Minister commended the St. James Parish Council for providing space for the police post and gave a commitment to assist “as far as resources will allow”, the move to make the market environment safer.

President of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Devon Crump, in his remarks, promised some furniture for the new police post.