Atkinson upbeat about new Falmouth Police Station
NORTH Trelawny Member of Parliament Patrick Atkinson has expressed delight that construction of a building to house the Falmouth Police Station is near completion.
"It has been long overdue. It has been one of our priorities to see that it is completed as it has been pending for too long," Atkinson told the Observer West.
He stressed the importance of a facility that is convenient for civilians to access police services, as well as suitable accommodation for members of the force.
"We need to provide good working conditions for our law enforcement officers. They have an extraordinarily difficult task and it will provide easier access for people coming to do business at the police station," he explained.
Atkinson who is also the attorney General, added that the state-of-the-art facility that is being constructed will enhance the appearance of the historic seaport town.
"So we are really happy about it and we have to move on to the next stage of developing the infrastructure around it," he stressed.
Over the past few years, several civic groups as well as the parish's health department have complained about the poor state of the Falmouth Police Station. The existing building, they said, had been falling apart and had become a health hazard.
Former security minister, Peter Phillips, announced in December 2004 that construction of the new police station would begin in January 2005.
Four years before that time, former National Security Minister KD Knight broke ground for the new station, but construction for the proposed building never got off the ground until five years later.
The project, which was dogged by several issues, including a standoff with the contractors and Government was scheduled to be completed in time for the opening ceremony and warm-up games in Cricket World Cup 2007, which were to be held at the nearby Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium.
About three years ago, former Prime Minister Bruce Golding gave directive for members of the Jamaica Defence Force engineering department to complete the station, which is being built on lands at Rodney Street, near the present run-down station.