Ja cops moving in

Jamaican Prime Minister P.J. Patterson said Monday that the planned relocation of the Jamaica Constabulary Force headquarters downtown Kingston was a “declaration of war against the criminal elements” in the surrounding areas.

Mr. Patterson, who was updating journalists at Jamaica House on decisions out of last week’s three-day Cabinet retreat, confirmed that the Police High Command will be accommodated in the Cable and Wireless Jamaica building at the corner of Duke and North streets in the volatile Kingston central police division.

Sounding a warning to criminals, Mr. Patterson said, “Move out quickly because the police are moving in soon.” He added, “The government is tightening the noose, your days are numbered.”

According to the Prime Minister the new police headquarters will house the Command and control Centre equipped with modern technologies to coordinate operations across the island.

Renovations to the building, Mr Patterson disclosed, will include the preparation of parking facilities as well as the installation of protective barriers “so that the JCF do not have to be preoccupied with any threats that may emanate from the area.”

Expanding on the new crime fighting technologies, Mr Patterson said the Automated Palm and Fingerprinting Identification System and the Integrated Identification System have been acquired and will be commissioned in a few weeks.

He reported, in addition, the procuring of an Integrated Management Information System “to improve the interconnectivity amongst principal agencies of the criminal justice system.”

This system, he said, will allow the police, the courts and correctional facilities to track persons who have been charged with offences, who face the courts and who serve sentences.

While unable to state the cost of the relocation, the Prime Minister explained that the proceeds from the sale to the National Housing Trust of the property where the Police High Command is currently located would be used to finance the renovations to the former CWJ building.

The Gleaner broke the story last year on the sale and planned relocation of the Police Commissioner’s Office from its 101-103 Old Hope Road address in St. Andrew.