Jamaica News: Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says the Government will be investing more than $5 billion in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to better combat crime, while making it the best police force in the region.
Opening the 2019/20 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on April 16, Dr. Chang said the money will be spent on five key areas.
These include rebuilding and retrofitting of police stations into modern citizen-friendly spaces; upgrading of police communication systems; introducing technology as a force multiplier; improving police mobility; and internal restructuring and expanded training of police officers.
He said the Government is working to ensure that all police stations will be brought up to “minimum standards” over the next two years.
“Over the last two years, some 100 police stations were repaired. Sixty are earmarked for significant repair this year and there will be several rebuilding,” he said.
Dr. Chang added that partnerships have been formed with the National Housing Trust (NHT) and the Jamaica Social Investment Fund to carry out the undertaking.
He said the existing memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of National Security and the NHT demonstrates the value of partnership in creating the foundation for safe and secure communities.
Dr. Chang informed that the National Housing Trust will commit approximately $2 billion to improve police facilities in the communities they operate.
In the financial year 2018/19, the NHT rebuilt the Shady Grove Police Station in St. Catherine and commenced the refurbishing of a dormitory block at the Mobile Reserve.
The National Security Minister said 10 police stations will be constructed during this financial year.
They are Spanish Town Police Station; Savanna-la-Mar Police Station; Port Antonio Police Station; Buff Bay Police Station; Port Maria Police Station; Frome Police Station; Anchovy Police Station; Lacovia Police Station; Stony Hill Police Station; and Olympic Gardens Police Station.
In addition, the Jamaica Social Investment Fund will be rebuilding and renovating seven police stations at a cost of $1 billion. The stations are Bog Walk Police Station, Denham Town Police Station, Mount Salem Police Station, Adelphi Police Station, Lionel Town Police Station, Four Paths Police Station, and Franklyn Town Police Station.
“Not only are we rebuilding and retrofitting particular police stations but all stations will be redesigned to look like modern office space,” Dr. Chang said.
He informed that stations will be equipped with appropriate reception areas for all persons who need to access police services through this medium.
“Interview rooms will be designed to ensure privacy yet transparency of the officers recording statements and the citizens who come in to file sensitive complaints, especially persons who come to make reports concerning intimate partner violence, domestic violence and sexual abuse,” he said.
He further noted that officers will be enlisted in the requisite public engagement programmes, as good customer service is as essential as proper infrastructure.
“All persons seeking the assistance of the police are clients of the Government and we must treat them with the dignity they deserve,” he said.
He noted that 100 police officers in St. James have received training.
Source: JIS News