News

Food for the Poor rescues Gravel Heights cops

BY KARYL WALKER Crime/court editor walkerk@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, February 27, 2013    

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FOOD for the Poor yesterday gave an undertaking to finish the construction of the incomplete building in Gravel Heights, St Catherine to be used as a police post in the once volatile community.

Rev Ron Burgess, a director of the charity, said the facility should be completed in a matter of weeks, as he cited the need for a proper structure to serve as a police post.

"I met with Superintendent (Everald) Linton and we have sent somebody to look at the needs and we will definitely be fixing it. It should be completed by the end of March," Burgess told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

The police have occupied a partially finished building on a hill in Gravel Heights that used to be the domain of gangsters who ran amok in the impoverished community and had law-abiding residents living in constant fear. Since the police occupation, gangsters have fled the community, allowing law-abiding residents to return to their normal lifestyle.

However, the building is in need of repairs and proper sanitary convenience for the officers posted there, despite officers using resources they can get to help with its improvement.

"I am thankful for the help and we want to reaffirm that our commitment to improving the lives of the citizens of this community," head of the St Catherine North Police Division Superintendent Anthony Castelle said.

Rev Burgess, meanwhile, said the police had the full support of his organisation. "We support the initiative and we will be sending in our technical team to put costing together," Burgess said.

Before the cops arrived, the owners of the building in question were chased from their home by the gangsters who saw it as the perfect vantage point to scope out when the police were coming into Gravel Heights and as such allowed them to escape easily.

Those land owners are yet to be fully relocated, but Castelle gave the assurance that they would be adequately resettled soon.

He said, too, that the police were planning to establish a homework centre with Internet and a park so the children of Gravel Heights could grow up without the stress and worry of constant criminal activity. "This initiative is more than a fight against crime, but also to ensure that the lives of the children and all law-abiding citizens of Gravel Heights improve greatly," said Castelle.

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