Acting Commissioner of Police Don McKenzie has disclosed that the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) plans to move into the Lime Building on the Carenage no later than year-end to use as its new headquarters.
Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dickon Mitchell has already informed Parliament that the 14-month old Congress government has reached a financial agreement with Cable & Wireless to purchase the building that was used until a few years ago to house some of the high courts on the island.
The building was abandoned amidst fears that court officials including judges were exposed to above normal radiation leaks.
According to Mc Kenzie, RGPF has to move out of its current location at Fort George by a certain time frame in keeping with an upgrade that is due to take place there in-keeping with its planned development into a major tourism site in the country.
He said he could not give definitive information at this stage on which departments of the Police will move into the building along with those members now stationed at the headquarters like the High Command.
“We are still deciding – it depends on the capacity of the place,” he said, adding that the focus will be on those “priority units” within the Police Force.
“There are other buildings that we are renting around Town. We would have to see if there are any other Departments that can be accommodated there,” he said.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Prosecution Department are currently occupying buildings owned by private individuals.
Commissioner McKenzie said, “We would have to see how we can make best use of that structure,” but expressed fears that the Lime building “might not be able to hold all.”
The island’s chief cop also told THE NEW TODAY that he expected the Ministry of Works to undertake the necessary repairs including repainting that is needed to be done to the building for the Police Force to move into it.
He noted that the building was modeled for the courts but will now have to be remodeled for use by RGPF.
McKenzie disclosed that a party from RGPF has already conducted an inspection of the building in conjunction with officials from the Ministry of Works and a Representative from the Supreme Court Registry.
This, he said, was done “all with the aim of ensuring that within the shortest possible time that the remodeling will be done and that the Police will move in given that we’re up against getting out of headquarters.”
On August 18, Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell informed a meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance held in the Parliament Chamber at Mt Wheldale that “government was looking into acquiring a new location for the Police Headquarters since its continued presence on Fort George was preventing the conclusion of the Tourism Competitive Enhancement project.”
According to PM Dickon Mitchell, the Congress administration “had negotiated the purchase of the FLOW/Cable & Wireless Building to house the Police Headquarters.”
No details were given on the amount paid by government to the owners of the building.