Councillor for the Lluidas Vale Division of the St Catherine Municipal Corporation Hugh Graham said the new Shady Grove Police Station in his division will be opened no later than January, adding that he is seeking to have a curfew imposed in the area.
His declaration comes as Lluidas Vale residents today mounted widespread roadblocks and protested against the frequent invasion of their community by gunmen. In the latest invasion, which unfolded last night, gunmen fired several shots and robbed persons at two business establishments.
The residents are calling for, among other things, the community’s police officers to be relocated to the new station that is being built in the centre of the small town. The few cops, who were relocated temporarily some two years ago to facilitate construction of the new station, are now operating from a building in a remote section of the community.
The new police station, being built by the Jamaica Constabulary Force, was initially set to be opened a year ago.
Graham today, November 28, gave the clearest indication yet as to when it is likely to become operational.
“The police station is practically complete and we are in discussions for an imminent opening. I’m of the opinion that it should be no later than January. This should see an increase in police personnel as well,” he told The Beacon.
Graham continued: “I am pushing for curfews in the area as Lluidas Vale is one way in and one way out. [The curfew would be] to control the influx of persons fleeing from the ZOSO (Zones of Special Operations) in other areas – according to word on the ground.”
The following video shows inside the new police station at Lluidas Vale:
Graham, in the meantime, will move up to represent the People’s National Party (PNP) in the St Catherine North West constituency – including Lluidas Vale, when the next general election is held.
Kayon Page, who is seeking to succeed him as PNP candidate in the Lluidas Vale Division, today underscored the importance of having the residents’ concerns addressed.
“This [status quo] is sad and unacceptable. The police and the political representative need to get to the bottom of this. The political representative must step in and give us an update on the progress of the police station,” he told The Beacon.
Page continued: “Lluidas Vale is once a peaceful and safe Christian community. Now, people are afraid to go about in the community; I am saddened by this and my heart is with the people.”
The featured image above is that of Hugh Graham, Councillor for the Lluidas Vale Division.