Jamaica Gleaner

Lock-ups brace for lock-offs

Po­lice sta­tions in­sti­tute emer­gency mea­sures to com­bat wa­ter woes

- Corey Robin­son Staff Re­porter Water Security · Drought · Social Issues · Society · Natural Disasters · Disasters · The Police · Kingston · Jamaica · Richard Stewart

THE PO­LICE have started im­ple­ment­ing emer­gency mea­sures in a des­per­ate at­tempt to keep po­lice sta­tions func­tion­ing nor­mally de­spite the se­vere drought now af­fect­ing the is­land.

The Po­lice High Com­mand has al­ready is­sued a re­minder to mem­bers of the Force, par­tic­u­larly those at po­lice sta­tions with ma­jor lock-ups, to ob­serve the wa­ter-con­ser­va­tion pol­icy which is in ef­fect.

With re­stric­tions be­ing im­ple­mented by the Na­tional Wa­ter Com­mis­sion, sev­eral sta­tions, par­tic­u­larly those in the Kingston Metropoli­tan Re­gion, have been re­ly­ing on the Ja­maica Fire Brigade and other en­ti­ties to sup­ply them with wa­ter.

“We are ex­pect­ing that mem­bers will live up to our con­ser­va­tion pol­icy. We are talk­ing about wash­ing ve­hi­cles not as fre­quently as when we have rain, and to en­sure that they use buck­ets,” said Deputy Com­mis­sioner Novelette Grant, who heads the po­lice Ad­min­is­tra­tion Branch.

Grant said with the drought af­fect­ing some sta­tions, ef­forts are be­ing made to en­sure that they have a sup­ply of wa­ter.

“All the peo­ple who we have called to as­sist us have re­sponded. We have sit­u­a­tions where some of the sta­tions have sought and re­ceived help from cor­po­rate Ja­maica,” said Grant.

“We want our mem­bers to re­mem­ber that we have a drought and wa­ter is not re­new­able. Peo­ple must be very con­scious,” added Grant, days af­ter Cus­tos of Kingston Stead­man Fuller asked jus­tices of the peace to carry out in­spec­tions at some of the more prob­lem­atic lock-ups in the cap­i­tal city.

“In the best of times, they (po­lice lock-ups) have chal­lenges with some things, so I can imag­ine there be­ing chal­lenges with the drought. But I have not had any re­ports of any se­ri­ous con­cerns with the wa­ter short­age as yet,” said Fuller.

“Just as we speak, we are send­ing them (lock-ups) some dis­in­fec­tants to en­sure that we min­imise any event that can hap­pen. You know Kingston Cen­tral is our largest po­lice lock-up, so that is one of the ar­eas,” added Fuller.


When con­tacted last Tues­day, Su­per­in­ten­dent Michael Scott, who heads the Kingston Cen­tral Po­lice Di­vi­sion, said there was no piped wa­ter at the main lockup in the di­vi­sion, and he was await­ing the ar­rival of wa­ter trucks to fill some tanks.

“We are hav­ing it rough, just like ev­ery­body else, but we have trucks that bring us wa­ter from the NWC and so on, and we are wait­ing on them. We not bawl­ing out as yet,” said Scott.

The lock-up at the Kingston Cen­tral Po­lice Sta­tion has a ca­pac­ity of 176 in­mates but is of­ten times over crowded. When con­tacted last Tues­day, Scott de­clined t o say how many in­mates were be­ing held in the lock-up at this time.

Over in the St An­drew Cen­tral Po­lice Di­vi­sion, re­cently ap­pointed head, Se­nior Su­per­in­ten­dent Mil­li­cent Sproul-Thomas, told The Sun­day Gleaner that de­spite the drought, there has been no wa­ter is­sues.


St An­drew Cen­tral in­cludes the Half-Way Tree Po­lice Sta­tion, which now holds more than 100 in­mates.

“The plumber came in and went through. We have a num­ber of wa­ter tanks, and we have re­ceived ad­di­tional tanks since I have been here. So, as I speak, we have ad­e­quate wa­ter for our mem­bers of staff, and we have ad­e­quate wa­ter for per­sons in our cus­tody,” said Sproul-Thomas.

In the St An­drew South Po­lice Di­vi­sion, Se­nior Su­per­in­ten­dent Richard Stewart lauded the Ja­maica Fire Brigade for truck­ing the Hunts Bay Po­lice Sta­tion, which holds some 90 in­mates in its lock-up.

“We have wa­ter in the tanks, and we have more than one tank . We don’t have a prob­lem right now, but as soon as it (short­age) hap­pens, we just ask the fire depart­ment, and they will re­spond be­fore the day is fin­ished,” said Stewart.

St An­drew South is also home to the Duhaney Park Po­lice Sta­tion where women in­mates are held.

Deputy Po­lice Su­per­in­ten­dent Ethel Hal­li­man-Wat­son, who is in charge of the sta­tion which cur­rently houses eight fe­males in its lock-up, also ar­gued that the drought is not hav­ing a ma­jor im­pact.

“I can tell you that wa­ter has been here from morn­ing. Wa­ter is in the pipe, and in the event that the wa­ter is go­ing low, by the time it is fin­ished, there is usu­ally some­body here,” said Hal­li­man-Wil­son.

 ?? FILE ?? Cus­tos of Kingston Stead­man Fuller (right) lead­ing a tour of the lock-up at the Kingston Cen­tral Po­lice Sta­tion.
FILE Cus­tos of Kingston Stead­man Fuller (right) lead­ing a tour of the lock-up at the Kingston Cen­tral Po­lice Sta­tion.

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