The erecting of the 18 police stations which will be sighted at Piarco, Besson Street, Old Grange, Roxborough, La Brea, Oropouche, Maracas Bay, St Clair, Moruga, Matura, Matelot, Maloney, Cumuto, Brasso, Manzanilla and St Joseph will be spread over two and a half years.
The new police station at St Joseph will embrace a homicide office and a facility for DNA testing. In addition the new St Joseph Station, along with those at Old Grange, Arima and Manzanilla, will house traffic offices. As a precautionary measure which in turn will not only protect the stations from major structural damage as a result of earthquakes, storms or hurricanes but for the police officers and rank using them as well as citizens making reports is that each station will be built with reinforced concrete.
An added positive will be that should there be an interruption of the regular electricity and water supply each of the stations will be equipped with a generator and water storage facility. As part of the Ministry of National Security’s green thrust the several stations will be equipped with solar powered water heaters making them energy efficient. The guarding against any interruption in the electricity and water supplies of the various stations means that officers will be able to continue working without being inconvenienced by non-functioning air-conditioners, lack of electrical lights and an unavailability of water.
Of additional importance is that officers who are required to sleep in or man the stations longer than the normal shift can do so in relative comfort. Citizens going into these stations to make reports will also have the benefit of uninterrupted electric lighting and air-conditioning.
This convenience should not be underestimated as it has been all too often difficult for policemen on desk duty to take reports in the event of an electricity shut down. This has very often meant that persons making reports have been required to return to stations or spend uncomfortably long periods there if the charge room is made too dark in the absence of electricity.
Meanwhile, features of the planned station will include public and private reception areas, statement rooms, finger printing rooms and offices for senior officers. What the statement rooms will mean is that citizens making reports at these stations will be able to do so without the embarrassment of their statements or questions posed to them by officers being overheard.
Because of the greater feeling of their reports being overheard by other persons coming into the station this may encourage them to open up. A crucial aspect of these new police stations is that each will be specially designed to accommodate the needs of differently abled persons, a provision virtually non-existent in earlier designed police stations and indeed government buildings. This will make it that much easier for differently abled persons to lodge complaints. This feature should not only be built into the design of all new state sector buildings but should be a must as well where there is to be major work done with respect to the reconstruction of government offices.
These facilities for police men/women will assist in having these officers even better disposed to interacting with the public. They include, for example an in house lecture room, library, gymnasium, prayer room and a room for counselling. It represents needed 21st century thinking.