The importance of the police and the community working together was the key message at the commissioning of the New Police Outpost at Amelia’s Ward Linden and the Linden Station Management Committee (LSMC) came in for high praise from Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee and Commissioner of Police Henry Greene.
The new facility was opened to the public approximately a month ago but officially commissioned yesterday by Rohee and Greene.
In his address to the gathering of police officers, members of the LSMC, Linden Police Scouts, the Linden Community Policing Group (CPG), and a number of other key stakeholders, Rohee underscored the government’s plans to rehabilitate lock-up facilities at police stations and outposts across the country.
He said this has been discussed with Commissioner Greene and millions would be expended in this regard in 2012.
The minister was high in praise of the LSMC, whose members he said have shown that they are committed to the task of bringing the people of Linden closer the police.
Addressing a question that has been in the air for some time now, to split the E&F Division and let each have its own commander, Rohee said: “We have proven that this system as it is has been working well, so I will not support the idea to have them split.”
According to Rohee, the government has budget provisions for six additional police outposts: St Cuthbert’s Mission, which is scheduled for completion in October 2011; Aranka; North Ruimveldt, to be completed in November; Hog Island; Abary, West Coast Berbice and Crabwood Creek. “Some of these outposts are near completion; some of them contracts have been awarded and some of them haven’t gotten off the ground because of accommodation at hostels,” Rohee said. The Amelia’s Ward Outpost was the first to have been completed.
Commissioner Greene was credited for encouraging the formation of the LSMC, a move he said that he never regretted. It was the valiant efforts of the LSMC that resulted in the outpost being constructed in the Amelia’s Ward community. Greene spoke highly of the committee which also was responsible for the formation of the Linden Police Scouts, the largest in the country with over 400 registered members.
“…They have been working with us, working with the community and they have been giving yeoman support to the members of the police force and the members of the community and we are very thankful to them,” Greene said.
According to the Public Relations Officer of the LSMC, at the onset, the committee had plans to raise funds through a buy-a-block community effort for the construction of the outpost. However, government decided to foot the bill.
“We had a massive plan for this place but things didn’t go totally the way we wanted it to but the good thing is that today we have a police outpost in Amelia’s Ward,” the PRO said. “We were lobbying for a police station. We were instrumental in identifying the location of the outpost which is in the buffer zone at Amelia’s Ward. Through community efforts the plot of land was stumped, de-bushed and levelled.”
The LSMC held consultations with the Regional Democratic Council, and the Linden Mayor and Town Council, and both of these bodies had given their blessings. They kept a close eye on the construction to ensure that it was built to specifications and completed according to the timeline.
“This is a team of committed visionaries, we are a team of businessmen and women, professionals, skilled persons but most of all we are a happy humble team committed to the tasks of bringing the police and residents of this community closer to each other; for the police to be the friend of the people and visa versa,” she added
Chairman of the LSMC Lethem Wilson alluded to other initiatives that are being pursued by the committee. These include the acquisition of Port-a-Camp to be permanently stationed at Coomacka and a plot of land north of the new police outpost for the construction of the police scouts base.
According to Wilson, residents of Amelia’s Ward had been suffering for a long time because of the distance to the nearest police station, which is at Mackenzie.