ST ELIZABETH, Jamaica — St Elizabeth is set to receive its first newly built police station under the Ministry of National Security’s Project Rebuild, Overhaul and Construct (P-ROC).
The police station is expected to be completed in 30 months.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang made the revelation recently, during the ground-breaking ceremony for the Lacovia Police Station.
The impending project is the seventh such facility to be constructed and funded by the National Housing Trust (NHT).
Chang said the construction project is being funded at a cost of approximately $175 million.
“The government is committed, without any reservation, to investing in our security forces, particularly to give them the capacity to better respond to the level of violence in our society,” Chang said.
With funding from both the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) and the NHT, more than 121 police facilities have been reconstructed or renovated by the Ministry since the 2016/17 financial year. This is bolstered by a fleet of over 1,263 vehicles, comprising SUVs, pickup trucks, buses, trucks, cars and motorcycles, which were procured at a cost of approximately $4 billion.
The impending 5,223 square feet two-story building is expected to house the Lacovia Police Station, living quarters and detention cells.
Dr Chang further explained that the improvement of police facilities is a crucial part of policing, adding that “we have to provide our police officers with purpose-built stations for which they can function effectively, and when going to work, feel appreciated for their service”.
Meanwhile, Assistant General Manager for Special Projects, Research and Development at the NHT, Brian Saunders noted that the scope of work includes, but is not limited to the construction of a new sewage disposal system, paving of driveway and parking lot, as well as the erection of boundary walls coupled with the supply and installation of kitchen and laundry appliances.
“Over the next two and a half years, this space will be transformed into what we are confident will be a well-designed and modern facility, that will serve the Lacovia community and its environs,” Saunders said.
“We understand the importance of creating and fostering safe, sustainable, vibrant and holistic communities that individuals are proud to call home and operate businesses. Improving the facilities for members of our law enforcement, so that they can better serve the community of NHT contributors and mortgagors, is just one of the ways that NHT does it,” Saunders continued.
The six police facilities to have been completely reconstructed and/or renovated by the NHT include the Shady Grove, Orange Bay, Port Antonio, Buff Bay and Olympic Gardens police stations. Four barracks buildings from the Special Operations Barracks (Mobile Reserve) have also been renovated.
The security ministry said that with additional funding from the NHT, the Frome, Little London, Anchovy and Stony Hill Police Stations are slated to be constructed later this fiscal year at a cost of approximately $1 billion.
The objective of the Project ROC is to convert all police facilities into modern, citizen-friendly workspaces.