Prisons, fire budgets get boost

The Northward prison complex in Bodden Town will be getting a $1.3 million face lift if the Cayman Islands government budget is approved next month in Legislative Assembly.

In addition, the Cayman Islands Fire Service is set to receive a $1.2 million budget boost for staffing and operations in the government’s 2014/15 spending plan.

According to Prisons Director Neil Lavis, a closed-circuit security system is planned for the Northward prison property, inclusive of a control room where the cameras will be monitored.

The lockup for adult male offenders will also use the money to make repairs to the prison’s external fence and install a new “internal fence” as a separate security measure, Mr. Lavis said.

Additional public safety spending is proposed for the Cayman Islands Fire Service, which has been troubled by short staffing issues and low morale in recent years.

The domestic fire response budget is planned to increase by $675,000 in the 2014/15 fiscal year and the budget for airport fire services is proposed to increase by about $450,000, according to budget records.

Additional funding was also made available for fire inspections and investigation of fires.

What has not been resolved is the long-term leadership within the fire service. At the moment, Acting Chief Roy Grant and special consultant Kirkland Nixon are managing the service while a replacement is found.

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