EU lauded for funding $45-million Mount Salem Police Station, other projects


EU lauded for funding $45-million Mount Salem Police Station, other projects

Thursday, December 03, 2020

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MOUNT SALEM, St James -Prime Minister Andrew Holness and other stakeholders have commended the European Union (EU) for funding the construction of the new Mount Salem Police Station under the Jamaica Social Investment Fund's (JSIF) Poverty Reduction Programme, at a cost of $45 million.

According to JSIF Chairman Dr Wayne Henry, the funds to undertake the construction of the station forms part of the $290-million police station infrastructural projects which will eventually impact six police stations across four parishes.

“Under the police station infrastructural projects, members of the security forces will benefit from a total of seven sub-projects valued at approximately $290 million. These include the upgrading of six police stations in four parishes — Kingston, Clarendon, St Catherine and St James and, most importantly, the construction of one police station here in the community of Mount Salem which has been long overdue,” Dr Henry stated.

“I would like to express sincere gratitude to the European Union for the continuous grant funding support over the years. To date, several successful community-related programmes have been executed under the Poverty Reduction Programme.”

During his address at the official ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the new station, Prime Minister Holness heaped praises on the EU for their sustained support of projects in Jamaica.

“Ambassador [Marianne] Van Steen, on behalf of the people of Jamaica, we give our thanks and commendations to the European Union for their continued support and partnership with Jamaica. We feel very strongly about the support you give. It has been meaningful and helpful,” Prime Minister Minister Holness remarked.

Holness underscored that the partnership between Jamaica and the EU “has been very effective” and expressed the expectation for “even greater support in the partnerships that we have developed with community safety and security”.

“What we are doing here today [last Friday] is an example of that partnership. When we talk of foreign aid, I for one, as a post-Independence Jamaican; believe that we should not build our budget on aid. But the truth is that in international cooperation and in the spirit of international partnership, there is a space and an opportunity for which countries can collaborate in areas of mutual interest,” the prime minister noted.

“And, citizen security is one way in which countries collaborate for our mutual interests. A safer Jamaica is a safer world not just for Jamaica but for European citizens as well. So there is that space for cooperation and we are in that space speaking about the cooperation to build a new police station for the citizens of Mount Salem and surrounding communities. Yes, one act of $45 million will have a significant impact on improving citizen security in this area and the people of Jamaica who will be the direct beneficiary are grateful for this.”

Omar Sweeney, managing director of JSIF, also hailed the EU for their continued support.

Sweeney mentioned a raft of challenges the law enforcement officers currently face at the current structure that houses the Mount Salem Police Station, which lacks adequate amenities such as a proper bathroom facility, proper lunchroom and canteen facilities, a changing room, a customer service area, property security area for personal items, among other challenges.

He noted that the new structure will eliminate all those challenges facing the cops where they are currently housed.

“I really want to take the opportunity to thank the European Union for providing the financing for this initiative, thank you Government of Jamaica and its partners in doing the work that we have been doing,” Sweeney, who is also deputy chairman of the Zones of Special Operations, Sweeney remarked.

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