Sod turned for new US$28M Brickdam Police Station
The Brickdam Police Station ‘A’ Division Headquarters will be housed in a US$28 million modern 12-story building, replacing the previous wooden complex destroyed by fire on October 2, 2021.
The state-of-the-art edifice will comprise key departments, such as traffic, finance, and the impact base, and will include glass, concrete, and advanced safety features.
During his address at the sod-turning ceremony on Monday, President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali stated that the new structure will allow for the relocation of many services from the Eve Leary headquarters.
The shift aims to repurpose Eve Leary headquarters in supporting the government’s efforts to establish a world-class police academy for the entire region.
“When I said our prosperity must lead to the regional prosperity, this is what I meant, building our capacity to be leaders not only in Guyana, but in the region, so that we can have officers joining the police academy here and [have] them work throughout the region,” he underscored.
President Ali emphasised the importance of recognising that security is neither isolated nor unintentional. He stressed the term ‘joint services,’ noting that to ensure the effectiveness of national security, every facet of the country’s security apparatus must operate in unison.
“Sometimes, we see the development of this building for example, in isolation of what is happening in the national security architecture…For the national security architecture to function in a holistic way, in a comprehensive manner, it requires every facet of the security apparatus to function,” the president pointed out.
President Ali further outlined the strategic goal of creating an integrated joint service.
He said, “digitisation, automation, infrastructure, service, and people are at the forefront of what we are doing in building into the future. This building is an example of us building into the future today.”
In the Guyana Police Force (GPF) alone, President Ali said a marine division is being established that is capable of utilising the country’s river assets in crime positioning, crime-fighting, and proactive intelligence work.
Accordingly, the government is investing in enhancing air capacity and capability for the GPF, aligning it with the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).
Currently, a new hanger is being upgraded and constructed at Ogle to house the joint services air fleets.
President Ali expressed the intention to augment the air capabilities of the GDF, as well as to introduce two modern pieces of equipment supporting the air division, including helicopters and drone capabilities, to further enhance crime-fighting techniques.
At the Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit (CANU), there are plans to construct a new headquarters and establish a regional integrated system.
President Ali also mentioned that although the government is dissatisfied with the value of investments in the Guyana Fire Service (GFS), efforts will continue to enhance its capacity.
Meanwhile, projects and initiatives planned for the GPF include education for the population, schools, and the private sector, and capacity building at the level of the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) through the mobile firefighting units.
The head of state underscored that the entire system is transitioning to a fully automated digital platform, wherein accountability will be ensured.
The project is being undertaken by R Bassoo and Sons Construction in collaboration with Qing Jian Group Company Guyana Incorporated and is expected to be completed in 30 months.
Meanwhile, Minister of Home Affairs, Robenson Benn urged the GPF to work closely with the engineers and contractor to ensure timely delivery.