The Government is to spend over $5 billion to improve the condition of facilities of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
National Security Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang made the announcement at the ceremonial opening of the Shady Grove Police Station in Lluidas Vale, St. Catherine on August 9.
Under a new initiative called ‘Rebuild, Overhaul, and Construct’ (R.O.C), over 200 police facilities, are set to benefit from improvement works.
The objective of project R.O.C is to convert all police stations into modern, citizen friendly work spaces, provide officers with a comfortable environment conducive for work, while creating the ambience for citizens to willingly and comfortably engage the police.
Dr. Chang said the Ministry has prioritised investing in the security architecture as a means of improving crime outcomes.
“We are investing heavily in ensuring that officers are appropriately equipped to carry out their duties effectively, including through the use of less lethal equipment,” he stated.
Minister Chang informed that through continued partnership with the National Housing Trust and the Jamaica Social Investment Fund, the Ministry of National Security is leading the charge of improving the quality of police stations in order to reduce crime and criminality.
“We are on target to impact 149 of the 186 police stations in operation, by March 2020. Never before in the history of Jamaica has a government invested so heavily in securing our nation,” he said.
“In every community, particularly rural communities, the public health centre, the primary school, and the police stations, are the foundations upon which community spirit and community identity are built,” the Security Minister added.
Dr. Chang pointed out that in seeking to improve the work of the police in maintaining public safety and engaging the community, it is important that the physical infrastructure-the building, the amenities, the equipment, are “fit for the purpose.”
He noted that the data shows that there is a direct relation between the performance of police stations, and the murder rate, in their station areas, adding that by improving the physical space, officers are better able to perform their duties more efficiently.
The Shady Grove Police Station serves communities such as Pennington, Top Hill, Garden Hill, Lemon Hall, Tydixon, Juan-de Bolas, St. John, and Roaring River.