IN fiscal 2021, infrastructural upgrades are planned for several facilities used by the police, including a new police headquarters in Port of Spain.
According to the Public Sector Investment Programme 2021, "These projects, once completed are geared towards reducing the fear and incidents of crime all together, while improving accountability and service delivery to the citizens of TT."
Approximately 80 people are expected to be employed during these projects.
The PSIP said to save on rental cost in and around Port of Spain and to consolidate its key operations under one roof, the police will establish a new headquarters at Abattoir Road, Sea Lots. The building will house Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith, deputy commissioners and the heads of all of the police's intelligence and investigative units.
The estimated cost of this project is $243.8 million.
The proposed works for 2021 include completing designs and procuring a main contractor. An allocation of $15 million will be provided to cover the cost of designs and the construction contract, initiate the tender procurement process, site preparation, foundation and preparatory works and the start of construction.
In the meantime, upgrade work will continue at the existing police headquarters on Sackville Street. The PSIP said refurbishment has been undertaken there in phases over the last two years. The work there includes civil works, electrical, plumbing, tiling and painting. Three phases have been completed, with the fourth and final phase to be done in fiscal 2021. A sum of $0.942 million will be spent to complete this phase.
In addition, $1.8 million has been allocated towards the refurbishment of Riverside Plaza, which houses several police units such as the Cyber and Social Media Unit, Special Investigations Unit and the Financial Investigations Bureau.
The police, the PSIP document noted, will continue to engage the Urban Development Corporation of TT (Udecott) on the construction of new police stations and upgrades of existing stations across the country.
To date, new stations have been built in Arima, Brasso, La Brea, Moruga, Oropouche, Maloney, Cumuto, Piarco, Roxborough and Shirvan Road. Work is ongoing at the St Clair and Carenage police stations.
The latter will house the revamped Police Marine Division. Interceptors assigned to the division will cover San Fernando and La Brea (and environs), Sea Lots, the Port of Spain seafront and the western peninsula of Trinidad. The division will use flat-bottomed boats to patrol the Caroni Swamp and low-lying waters in the Gulf of Paria.
Additionally, there is a $25 million allocation in the PSIP to support the police's efforts to expand their fleet from 1,633 to 1,933 vehicles. Among the vehicles the police will be trying to procure are armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and sport utility vehicles.
Griffith, during his tenure as national security minister in the PP government, lobbied for the acquisition of APCs.