Relocation of Bolans Station to private Jolly Harbour building is ‘prostituting the police’ to property owners, critic tells Gov’t
Officers attached to the Bolans Police Station are being moved around like yo-yos as their building in that village remains unfixed after five years.
In October 2017, they were relocated temporarily to the Johnsons Point Police Station in order to facilitate much-needed repairs on the Bolans structure. Now, the officers are being moved again, this time to a location in Jolly Harbour.
In a memo to the Jolly Harbour community, Police Commissioner Atlee Rodney advises property owners of the move, describing it as
“CDAL’s partnership with the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda ….”
Recently, Rodney says, the administration of the Force approached Caribbean Development Antigua Ltd. for assistance with a more convenient location – one that is in closer proximity to Bolans, Jennings and Bendals to better serve these communities.
Considering that Jolly Harbour is part of the Bolans community, and since its residents have benefitted from the assistance of the Police, Rodney says the Force believed they had a responsibility to play a role as true community partners.
However, several people disagree strongly with the Commissioner’s view. A member of the Diaspora tells REAL News the Browne Administration is “shamelessly prostituting the Police” to the owners of CDAL.
“Why should the Jolly Harbour home-owners feel any sense of responsibility?” he asks. “They pay taxes that entitle them to police protection just like everybody else, so there should be no obligation to house officers.
“If a person in Jennings and a Jolly Harbour resident call for help at the same time, who do you think the cops are going to respond to first?” he asks.
“This is just crazy, man. The Government is crazy!” the former Southsider says.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Rodney acknowledges that substantial renovations have been made to the temporary facility, which is located at the main entrance of Jolly Harbour. It consists of officers’ living quarters; a bathroom and kitchenette; an administrative office; and a temporary holding cell.
A brief ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Tuesday, May 17, after which the Police officially began occupying the location.