Residents welcome new police station being built in Mount SalemWednesday, December 23, 2020
ST JAMES, Jamaica— Residents of Mount Salem in St James have welcomed the construction of a new police station now underway in the community.
The new Mount Salem Police Station is being built by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) at a cost of $45 million, with funding from the European Union (EU).
Prime Minister Andrew Holness officially broke ground for the project on November 27.
The facility is being constructed under the build phase of the Zone of Special Operations (ZOSO) now in place in the community.
The new police station will benefit some 9,050 residents in Mount Salem as well as people in surrounding communities.
Mount Salem was declared the first ZOSO on the island on September 1, 2017, in response to an upsurge in crime.
A resident, Frank Brown, said that the new station is greatly needed, noting that “it will be good for the community”.
He pointed out that the existing building had deteriorated to the extent where it posed a potential threat to the police officers stationed there as well as the citizens accessing the facility.
“So definitely [the new police station] is a good move,” Brown added.
Another resident, Kadianne Kerr, said she also was pleased to see a new station being erected.
“I am happy because, to be honest, we were worried about what would take place after the ZOSO initiative [has] left the community, because it has done a lot for the [area],” she noted.
Kerr pointed out that consequent on the ZOSO's introduction, “a lot of persons' mindset has changed”.
“I think that is the most important thing that came out of the ZOSO, as well as the infrastructural work that took place and the training for young persons in the community,” she said.
Kerr is optimistic that the new police station will contribute to ensuring that the progress made under the ZOSO remains intact.