The Government is investing billions of dollars in the upgrading of police stations across the island under Project Rebuild, Overhaul and Construct (ROC) in the Ministry of National Security.
More than 200 facilities will be rebuilt, renovated and retrofitted under the project at a cost of approximately $5 billion, with works to be undertaken on 60 during the current fiscal year.
Minister of National Security Dr. Horace Chang said that adequate investment in law enforcement will have a positive impact on Jamaica’s criminal justice system.
“Police officers are meant to be peacemakers, and a lack of investment in their resources, workspaces, training and supervision sets them up for failure, especially in communities that need peace the most,” he said, while addressing the launch of the project last month.
He said that the ministry acknowledges the link between improvement in infrastructure and the strengthening of the overall morale of the members of the force.
“Under project ROC, we expect to mend the relationship between the police and the communities they protect, as 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,” he pointed out.
Minister Chang said that while policymaking is crucial to crime-solving, creating the environment for citizens to willingly and comfortably engage with the police, through the physical improvement of workspaces, is paramount.
“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,” he noted.
Eight contracts were awarded earlier this month to renovate 14 police stations across the island.
They are Annotto Bay Police Station in St. Mary; Mavis Bank, Irish Town, Gordon Town, and August Town police stations in St. Andrew; Tivoli Gardens, Kingston Central, Allman Town, Admiral Town, and Darling Street police stations in Kingston; Maggoty and Pedro Plains police stations in St. Elizabeth; Clarks Town Police Station in Trelawny; and Chapelton Police Station in Clarendon.
Works to be undertaken include roof repairs, upgrading of electrical and plumbing, infrastructural repairs, termite treatment, refurbishing of bathrooms, improving drainage systems and replacing perimeter fencing.
Other police stations to benefit under project ROC are: Spring Hill, Portland; Moneague, Ocho Rios, Brown’s Town, St. Ann’s Bay, Runaway Bay, and Discovery Bay in St. Ann; Islington and Highgate in St. Mary; Sandy Bay and Lucea in Hanover; May Pen, Frankfield, Hayes and Four Paths in Clarendon; Old Harbour and Bridgeport in St. Catherine; Williamsfield and Mandeville in Manchester; Falmouth and Ulster Spring in Trelawny; Savanna-la-Mar and Negril in Westmoreland; Morant Bay. St. Thomas; Mountain View, Red Hills and Constant Spring in St. Andrew; and Trench Town, City Centre, and Fletcher’s Land in Kingston.
In addition to the works under project ROC, the National Housing Trust (NHT) has committed approximately $2 billion to improve the police stations in the communities it operates.
The Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) will also be contributing $1 billion for the rebuilding and renovating selected police stations in other areas.