(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — The Government is to create a built-for-purpose police headquarters accommodating over 2,500 cops on lands in downtown Kingston, National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang announced in the House of Representatives yesterday.
Dr Chang said that the new headquarters will be built on 40 acres of land known as “No Man’s Land” surrounded by inner-city communities Trench Town, Arnett Gardens, Hannah Town, and Denham Town.
The area got the name after earlier occupants fled the communities during the political violence of the 1970s to resettle on squatter lands in Bull Bay and Spanish Town.
The minister told the Jamaica Observer after his presentation, which opened the 2019/20 Sectoral Debate, that while there was no date for the start of construction of the headquarters, pre-construction preparations had already started.
Chang told the House that the new facility will accommodate all non-geographic formations of the specialised police units, including Narcotics, the National Intelligence Bureau, and Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime, among others.
He said that the multi-faceted headquarters will have customer-friendly reception areas and green spaces to ensure strong community interface.
“This will represent the transformative approach the Government is taking to build the new Jamaica,” he stated.
“The locating of this facility in the heart of downtown Kingston will complement the Government’s overall plan to revive and reposition Kingston city as a leading business district that is safe and orderly. ‘No Man’s Land’ will be a beacon of hope in our city and will elevate the space to represent hope, peace, and prosperity,” he said.
He assured the public that Government does not intend to dislocate residents, as, through the National Housing Trust, provisions will be made for all socio-economic groups to be adequately accommodated.
“Indeed, as downtown Kingston returns to its primacy, we will see all segments of the population — attendants, cleaners, lawyers, doctors, and business leaders — being able to live together around a shared, peaceful urban space,” he noted.
He said that it will be a signature activity and a seminal mark of the Government’s commitment to bringing the vision of a new Jamaica to pass.
“While we will cater to all socio-economic groupings, we will ensure that the culture and energy of ‘Trench Town Rock’ is preserved. It will be a vibrant and healthy community, as the police will continue to ensure peace and safety for all,” the minister added.