Thu | Dec 12, 2019

Gov’t scales back police station reno

Published:Thursday | November 21, 2019 | 12:12 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Dr Horace Chang (left), minister of national security, tours the newly renovated Trench Town Police Station in Kingston yesterday. Following behind him are Superintendent Howard Chambers and Inspector Grace Gordon.
Dr Horace Chang (left), minister of national security, tours the newly renovated Trench Town Police Station in Kingston yesterday. Following behind him are Superintendent Howard Chambers and Inspector Grace Gordon.

The Government has revised its plan to renovate 60 police stations islandwide during fiscal year 2019-20, overhauling the project and tweaking its scope because of the magnitude of the repair job.

According to National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang, the gravity of dereliction into which some police facilities had fallen requires greater inflows of investment, including wholesale reconstruction. The ministry might have to frontload repairs to five or so stations in the next financial year.

“We are rebuilding a couple, which were not in the original plans. We are building a new divisional headquarters in Spanish Town, St Catherine, and Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland,” said Chang, during a tour of the newly renovated Trench Town Police Station in Kingston yesterday afternoon.

“We only have 186 police stations, and we ought to maintain them better.”

Forty-six police stations were repaired in 2018 under the national security ministry’s Rebuild, Overall and Construct Initiative, the minister revealed.

Refurbishment of the Trench Town Police Station cost $11.7 million, including repairs to roofing, bathrooms, the guardroom, electrical fixtures, and signage. Work was also done to the kitchenette, fencing, and surveillance systems.

The facelift included repainting of the building and renovation to the reception area and detention facilities.

The Gleaner understands that the dorms were very uncomfortable for the cops, and so new beds were acquired.

“This is a tough police area. The windows here weren’t working, doors weren’t working, and the police had old furniture,” Chang said, praising contractors UBUILT Construction Services for doing “a good job”.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com