Sat | Apr 4, 2020

Hopewell clamours for police post

Published:Monday | February 24, 2020 | 12:24 AM

Following the recent shooting deaths of two men at the same location, two days apart, in Hopewell, Hanover, several community groups have called for the commanding officer, Superintendent Sharon Beeput, to honour her promise of erecting a police post there.

Representatives from the community groups told The Gleaner that following a string of murders in Hopewell in 2019, the Electoral Office of Jamaica compound located at the entrance to Pond Piece community was designated the suitable site for the police post.

That pledge, residents say, seems to have been placed on hold, and the community has once again been overshadowed by gloom following the murders of 28-year-old Damion Buchanan, labourer of Camp Road in Hopewell, and Sheldon Hines, 29, of Rock Top, who were both shot and killed on February 9 and February 12, respectively, in Hopewell Square.

“A police post was well needed months ago, and following these recent murders, we have all agreed that the police post is long overdue,” Derrick Wright, justice of the peace (JP) and president of the Hopewell Citizens’ Association, told The Gleaner.

“We are seeing the police presence in Hopewell area, but we think the police must not only show themselves, but they need to carry out a lot more vehicular and body searches.”

Another JP, Walter Walker, also believes the time has come for the police post to be established.

“Hopewell is the fastest-growing community in Hanover, and the police need to erect the police post and blend in with the community in order to flush out these criminals and curb crime,” said Walker, a former Jamaica Defence Force officer and community sports leader.

When contacted, Beeput sought to assure the community stakeholders that she was still standing by her promise.

“Things like this take a little time, and we have now reached the lease agreement process. We hope to start the construction of the police post in short order,” she told The Gleaner.

Five people have been killed in Hanover since the start of the year.

Hopeton Bucknor