A social intervention pilot project for the parish of Westmoreland is to be rolled out over the next few weeks to help reduce criminal activity.
This was disclosed by Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, recently during a handing over ceremony for the refurbished Negril Police Station.
In his remarks, Dr. McNeill stated that the $20 million project is being funded by the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) and will consist of programmes in schools, including sports, intervention meetings, job training, mediation and community outreach. “The Ministry of National Security has put this forward and it is specific to Westmoreland as a pilot project,” Dr. McNeill said.
In delivering the keynote address at the handing over ceremony the Tourism Minister expressed satisfaction in the timely way in which the refurbishing of the station was executed, pointing out that it was on time and under budget. “Of the fifty million budgeted, under forty million was spent and this was due to the Project Management Unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) providing additional skilled labour which resulted in this significant savings to the project,” said Dr. McNeill.
According to Assistant Commissioner of Police Leon Rose members of the JCF provided services in the areas of electrical, plumbing, painting, carpentry, masonry, tiling, welding, landscaping and even the construction of an ID Parade room. A 304-foot perimeter fence was also installed.
Dr. McNeill said that the refurbishing of the Negril Police Station is a part of the strategic approach in the collaborative relationship between the Ministries of Tourism & Entertainment and National Security, noting that the half billion dollars set aside is a huge support. “Our support is in excess of half billion out of the Tourism Enhancement Fund and that is a lot of money in the budget of any ministry and certainly a major part of the budget of the TEF.”
The Ocho Rios Police Station has been refurbished and the Port Antonio Police Station is slated to be the next beneficiary under the TEF-funded programme.
The Minister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting; Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. George Quallo; President of the Negril Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Lee Issa; and Chairman of the Negril Resort Board, Mr. Cliff Reynolds, also participated in the official handing over of the police station.