Saint Lucia
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Sod Turned for $35 Million Northern Divisional Police Headquarters

Officials turning the sod on the site set aside for the new police station
Officials turning the sod on the site set aside for the new police station

Prime Minister Philip J Pierre declared that since the Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) assumed office on 2016, the government mandated that the long overdue construction of the Gros Islet Police Station would be a priority. 

The National Security Minister lamented the squalid and deplorable working conditions that officers at the northern branch had to bare. He said the structure was unsuitable “for people to work in.”

On Monday, during a sod-turning ceremony at the construction site with a heavy delegation of Cabinet ministers, personnel from the police hierarchy and construction crew representatives in attendance, PM Pierre lambasted the former regime for neglecting to provide the officers with proper working conditions during their tenure in office from 2016 to 2021.

Nonetheless, the prime minister said, the Cabinet of Ministers noted that the matter merited urgent attention and there was a need to provide the community and its residents and the officers with a suitable police station. In light of this, he added, government decided that it was imperative to undertake the construction of the Northern Divisional Police Headquarters project, situated at Massade , Gros Islet.

“There has been a lot of talk recently about crime, about law enforcement and about who is to be blamed …about the IMPACS Report and a lot of things that are irrelevant to the situation at hand,” said Pierre.

Despite the ‘political rumblings’ that has unfurled recently, the National Security Minister stated that, “The men and women of the police force must remain focused and …focus on dealing with the crime in this country.”

He added: “Your job is to deal with the crime situation in this country, my job and the job of the members of my Cabinet is to give you the conditions …and the tools to do your job.”

PM Pierre noted that the SLP administration is “not a government of renderings…we are a government of action, we are a government that gets things done and we are a government that are doing things.”

To reinforce government’s commitment to fighting crime and the safety of the citizenry, the National Security Minister said, “We are the only government that have built police stations in this country …every police station in this country was built by the Government of the Saint Lucia Labour Party.”

Describing the venture as a “Flagship Project”, Chairperson of the National Insurance Property Development and Management Company Ltd [NIPRO] Everistus Jn. Marie stated that the agency is eager and determined to get the project completed in a stipulated time frame.

He noted that it has been more than five years “since the project was placed on hold” and last year, following an urgent request from government, NIPRO responded with “a level of alacrity …to ensure that the pre-conditions that are necessary to commence construction of this facility are in place.”

Jn Marie further disclosed that NIPRO signed a “bold agreement” with government and have received approval from the Development Control Authority (DCA) for construction of the project.

Hinting that the project would be completed within an 18-month time frame, he explained that it will be undertaken in two separate phases. The contract has been awarded to R& F Construction Co.

The first phase in the construction works of the Northern Divisional Headquarters will entail construction of the Administrative Block and covers a space of 19,000 sq. ft to be completed in 18 months; while the other phase will involve construction of the dormitories that will be constructed concurrently and is due to be completed in one year.

“This facility is expected to be a flagship for police facilities on island, and the police will be very proud of this facility,” stated Jn. Marie.

The structure will encompass the CID, traffic department, an armory, a holding area and other departments, and interestingly, will also include a tennis court and gymnasium.

Home Affairs Minister Dr. Virginia Albert-Poyotte underlined the importance of providing the police with the requisite equipment and resources to conduct their duties. She said the undertaking of this latest venture will result in the provision of a top ranked facility.

Said Dr. Albert -Poyotte: “This will be a State -of- the -Art police station that will provide the officers (with) the facilities that they need to carry out their duties.”

Citing the timeliness and gravity of this venture, parliamentary Representative for Gros Islet Kenson Casimir asserted: “This project can be considered one of the most important one for the constituents of Gros Islet.”

Commissioner of Police, Crusita Descartes -Polius was evidently pleased with this latest development, stating that: “The significance of this event cannot be overstated as it signifies a tangible commitment to improving the working conditions of our dedicated law enforcement personnel.”

The approved budget for the project is $35, 925, 822 and will occupy 30,000 sq. ft of floor space on 2.6 acres of land.