Dr. Horace Chang
National Security Minister Dr. Horace Chang has announced a new home for the Jamaica Constabulary Force's headquarters.
Opening the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives Tuesday afternoon, Dr. Chang said the new headquarters will be located on a 40 acre site in West Kingston, popularly known as No Man's Land.
He said the facility will accommodate more than 2,500 cops.
"It will be home to all the non-geographic formation of the specialised units, such as Narcotics, NIB (National Intelligence Bureau), C-TOC (Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch)... Cyber Security as well. This multifaceted headquarters will have customer friendly reception areas as well... to ensure strong, acceptable community interface," he revealed.
Dr. Chang said construction of the new headquarters is part of a wider plan to develop the area, however, residents will not be dislocated.
"The National Housing Trust will undertake to ensure coverage has been made for all socio-economic groupings in the region... There'll be new jobs in the area and we expect that as downtown Kingston returns to its primacy, we'll see various segments of the population working there. And we expect homes, family homes for attendants, cleaners, lawyers, doctors, and business leaders, all being able to live together around a shared, peaceful urban space," he suggested.
The announcement follows years of other proposals, including the use of the Jamintel building on Duke Street in downtown Kingston as the headquarters.
Used car policy
In the meantime, the National Security Minister is promising a system which will ensure old cars are no longer a part of the JCF's fleet.
"We will not allow the new vehicles acquired to run down and be smashed, but we're also examining, as a matter of policy, with the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, a depreciation policy to ensure that vehicles, after they have served a certain threshold and a lifespan determined by depreciation, they can be valued and auctioned," he proposed.
Dr. Chang also provided an update on efforts to recover losses from O'Brien's International Car Sales and Rentals in relation to the botched programme to acquire used vehicles for the police force.
"This matter is not yet resolved...This ministry will ensure the government recovers its full money. Going forward, all suppliers...will be rigorously vetted for financial viability before contracts are awarded," the security minister announced.
Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch detectives have submitted the file to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a ruling on whether criminal charges are to be laid in the matter.
The contract was issued to O'Brien's in 2016.
The matter was placed before mediation after O'Brien's failed to fulfill the contract to supply the vehicles despite being paid more than $230 million.