Jamaica News: Minister of National Security, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says the proposed Police Plaza, to be built at ‘No Man’s Land’ in downtown Kingston, will be a community facility that will be fully accessible to residents.
“The plaza will not be some fortress… . There will be no fence around [it] to lock you out. The access roads will be designed to ensure that the police can have easy [movement]… but those same roads you can [use] to come in,” Dr. Chang said.
The Minister was addressing residents at a community meeting last evening (June 12) at the Ambassador Theatre in Trench Town.
He further assured residents that they will not be dislocated, and informed that an initial 1,000 new houses are to be built on the 37.5-acre property to provide solutions for residents, the police, and workers at the plaza and other areas downtown.
Development of Police Plaza, described as a “built-for-purpose” headquarters for the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), was announced by Dr. Chang during his presentation in the 2019/20 Sectoral Debate in April.
He informed that the facility, which will accommodate over 2,500 police officers, will house all the non-geographic formations of the specialised units, such as Narcotics, National Intelligence Bureau (NIB), and the Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation (C-TOC) branch.
“It is to be a purely energy-efficient [facility]. It will be architecturally pleasing, and it will be designed to provide quality offices for all police – it will mean about 2,500 to 3,000 officers of all levels,” he noted.
The multifaceted facility will have customer-friendly reception areas and green spaces to ensure strong community interface. It will include football and cricket fields, basketball and tennis courts, among other recreational areas.
“So communities… [such as] Golden Heights, Rema, part of Federal Gardens, Trench Town, Arnett Gardens and Jones Town… can come on the same playfield and play,” he told the residents.
Dr. Chang noted that construction of the facility is in keeping with the Government’s overall plans to redevelop downtown, adding that he would like to restore No Man’s Land to Friendship Park, as it was previously known.
The Minister said that Police Plaza is considered an ideal option to cut costs by placing police stations under one roof.
He noted that there are several small stations all over the city, including some on rented property, which cost the Government approximately US$3 million a year.
In the meantime, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Warren Clarke, said the idea of the Police Plaza is one that embraces the community.
“Our vision is to have a facility that engages the community; a facility iconic in nature – one that is a beacon of safety and security, that reassures not only the citizens of Trench Town but those that inhabit the southern belt of Kingston,” he said.
ACP Clarke implored the residents to work with the police as they strive to “impact social and economic environment” and to be the catalyst for change within the community.
“This is why we want to be relocated from the lofty Hope Road address to come down here and to make sure that we work together in making Trench Town what all of us would like it to be,” he said.
“We invite you to partner with us… . We want to assist you in making this community a national symbol and a national symbol of pride, hope, and dignity,” ACP Clarke added.
Source: JIS News