Police to relocate as station undergoes repairs
Port Antonio, Portland:
The Port Antonio Police Station, which is in a dire state of disrepair, is to undergo major repairs through an initiative to be undertaken by the National Housing Trust (NHT).
The unsightly look of the station's physical structure, which was allowed to decay rapidly over the past decade, was vastly becoming a breeding ground for rats and other pests, forcing the Ministry of Health to order that facility closed on at least two occasions.
The situation is further compounded by rotted board flooring, leaky roofing, unsightly officers' quarters, and broken-down bathrooms.
Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with Responsibility for Economic Growth, Job Creation, and Climate Change Daryl Vaz told The Gleaner yesterday that the actual repairs to the station will commence shortly.
"The NHT will be carrying out a complete rehabilitation of the Port Antonio Police Station," commented Vaz.
"A temporary location has been identified to house the police during the period of the rehabilitation. We are going to provide the hard-working men and women at the Port Antonio station with a
well-needed and ungraded rehabilitated building, which will allow for a better working environment in comfort and good health."
The police will be housed at the Juci Beef building at Bryan's Bay, which is in close proximity to the Port Antonio courthouse.
And Mayor of Port Antonio Paul Thompson, who, having learnt about the repairs, is lauding the NHT for what he described "as long overdue".
"The unsightly look of the administrative building and officers' quarters is rather painful to look at," said Thompson.
"There is no way that law-enforcement officers could perform at their best under such deplorable conditions. It is long overdue, but nevertheless, it is a welcome sight for all residents. As a matter of fact, it would come as no surprise to hear that someone fell through the board flooring at that facility. I am sure that all the officers are breathing a sigh of relief as their very lives were in danger, and it is not from gunmen or other criminal elements."