National Security Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says the work being undertaken to renovate police stations across the island will serve to promote stronger interface between citizens and law enforcement.
Fourteen stations are being upgraded at a cost of $195 million as the Government continues to improve the working conditions of members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
Dr. Chang, who was addressing a security awareness seminar at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Western Jamaica Campus in Montego Bay, St. James on Thursday (October 31), said that the project includes establishing modern, citizen-friendly reception areas and workspaces.
“We want to give the police better stations, so that you (the citizens) can feel like walking into a police station,” he said.
“A lot of our police stations are old, rundown, and the area you go to… called a guard room is small and looks almost frightening. We are going to change that and create genuine reception areas at police stations so you can walk in and feel like you walked into an office,” he added.
Dr. Chang indicated that the stations will also be equipped with electronic diaries to make it easier and more efficient for the police to record reports and complaints.
“We have to do, from the Government side, a number of things to make the police more user-friendly, customer-friendly, so that all of you can feel comfortable, even as students,” he noted.
Dr. Chang said there is renewed refocus on community policing with the recent launch of a national programme called ‘Live Good’.
“The idea is just to encourage people to have a healthier relationship [with the police]. So we use art, music and sports to create an attractive programme,” he explained.
“We are going into the inner-city communities to paint up some nice murals and get the people and schools involved. We intend to work on some of them in Montego Bay,” he added.
The Minister said that more than 150 police officers in Montego Bay were trained in customer service under a Tourism Product Development company Limited (TPDCo) initiative.