Construction work on four police stations is set to get under way from Monday, February 1, as part of a five-year $67 million Citizen Security Facilities Project designed to provide better accommodation for lawmen across the island.

The initial work will include the construction and refurbishment of facilities, including a new Hastings/Worthing Police Station at Hastings, Christ Church; a station at Cane Garden, St. Thomas; the refurbishment of the old male barracks at the Central Police Station in Coleridge Street, The City; and the refurbishment of the former Black Rock Police Station to be used as the Truth Verification and Family Conflict Units.

Speaking during the ground-breaking ceremony at the site of the new Hastings/Worthing Police Station today, Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite, said by the time the project is completed, there will be four new police stations and significant renovations to three other properties.

He stated that over the last five years, work was done at every police station across the island to improve the physical conditions of officers.?????I believe the police are special. I believe anyone who is willing to place his or her life on the line for someone they do not know for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is special,??? he declared.

Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Attorney General, Diane Campbell, also noted that the provision of new facilities and the extensive upgrade of others would help to alleviate cramped surroundings, and create an environment which met occupational health and safety standards.

???These works will resolve the problem of executing repairs to buildings which are structurally deficient and uneconomical for ongoing repair. They will result in the provision of modern infrastructure to facilitate more easily the embrace of state-of-the-art technology needed to enhance analytical and operational capability.

???The finalisation of these projects will also allow Government to reduce the considerable sums which are paid as rent on behalf of the Royal Barbados Police Force,??? she added.

Meanwhile, Director of the National Insurance Scheme, Ian Carrington, said that his department undertook funding the project because it recognised the need for police officers to have physical conditions that were conducive to their production levels and ability to protect citizens.

He explained that the money would be repaid out of the rental income over the five- year period. ???At the end of the construction period, which will take approximately two years per building, and those building finances are paid off, the buildings are handed back over to Central Government and to the police to continue to maintain them,??? he stated.

Mr. Carrington encouraged the contractors, ADC Building and Maintenance Limited, Innotech Services Limited, Connoisseur Improvement Services Incorporated and Steve???s Building Works Limited, to ensure that they produced quality buildings, on time and within budget.

In turn, he gave them the assurance that payments would be made on time, as it was a social investment in the people of Barbados to ensure that the island could go forward as a cohesive society over the next 50 years.

The project will also see the construction of a new Police Headquarters facility at Wildey, St. Michael; the relocation of the Bellplaine Police Station, Post Office and Welfare Office to the Elaine Scantlebury Home in Belleplaine, St. Andrew; the permanent relocation of the Drainage Division and Quantity Surveyors??? Section of the Ministry of Transport and Works to the former Barbados Water Authority Headquarters, The Pine, St. Michael; the construction of a new police station and Magistrates??? Court at Boarded Hall, St. George; and the refurbishment of the former Registration Department to house the Criminal Investigations Department.

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