Major project to overhaul police stations starts

THE security ministry has launched a new campaign to bring awareness to the public as it seeks is rebuild, renovate and retrofit police stations islandwide.

The project highlights the ministry's transformational agenda to Rebuild, Overhaul and Construct (ROC) more than 200 police facilities.

Project ROC commenced last Friday, with the ceremonial opening of the Shady Grove Police Station at Lluidas Vale in St Catherine by Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang. According to Minister Chang, the wooden shack which stood for more than 70 years has been completely rebuilt and transformed into a purpose-built police facility, tailored to the needs of residents.

The objective of Project ROC 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.

“All citizens are customers of the Government and we want them to feel comfortable and safe when they visit police stations, especially when making reports on sensitive criminal matters such as rape and murder,” said Minister Chang. He said an overhaul of this nature requires willingness, oversight, and funding, which the Government sees as a priority, investing heavily in the security architecture.

“There is empirical evidence suggesting that there is a correlation between improved police performance and a decrease in murders, stemming from strategic and increased investments in the security forces. Under Project ROC we expect to mend the relationship between the police and the communities they protect,” said Minister Chang.

A sum of $5 billion will be spent to improve the condition of facilities of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. In addition to government funding, the National Housing Trust has committed approximately $2 billion to improve the police stations in the communities it operates. The Jamaica Social Investment Fund will also be rebuilding and renovating select police stations in other communities, at a cost of $1 billion.

Projct ROC encompasses the thrust of the ministry to transform the security architecture through a steady outlay of capital investments in the security apparatus, which is expected to pay dividends in the upcoming year, said Chang.

- The Jamaica Observer