By Carlena Knight
Months after the Police Headquarters on American Road received a much-needed facelift, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) office at the St. John’s Police Station has received the same treatment.
The newly refurbished building, now featuring a forensics wing, cafeteria and shower area, was rededicated on Friday morning as lawmen along with government officials attended the brief ceremony.
Present at the event was Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney, who not only thanked workers from the Ministry of Works, but also spoke on the significance of this new building.
“It’s renovated to assist the investigators and to also assist us in our detention center; it means so much to me as the officers have endured dilapidated working conditions. Some said it should be abandoned, that we should be relocated, but I am thankful that the government had the foresight and willingness to renovate this piece of history,” Rodney said.
“This building is the first police station ever built in Antigua and Barbuda and we do not want to move away from our history. It is an honour to continue to operate within this premises.”
The top cop, who was once attached to the CID for eight years, called on those in the department to step up to the challenge in ensuring that our crime rate remains low.
“You have heard the saying, ‘where much is given, much is expected.’ So, yes, you have endured some difficulties, but today I urge you to cherish the renovations that have been given to you. Utilise the building with some pride. Police officers from all sections have played a part in the reduction of crime overall in Antigua, but as you can see in recent times, some undesirables are trying to derail our gains. Let us as police officers remain resolute and send a strong message that their actions will not deter us, but we will stay focused and confront them face to face so, I ask the CID officers to lead the charge and collaborate with the other departments,” he declared.
Gratitude was also expressed by the Minister of Legal Affairs, Steadroy ‘Cutie’ Benjamin.
Benjamin, in his address, not only applauded the Ministry of Works on a job well done but called on the department to now ensure that the other police stations also receive a much needed and long overdue upgrade as well.
For some time, the conditions at the building were not suitable to work in, this resulted in the department being moved just across from the police station on Newgate street, but earlier this year, that building was consumed by fire and the CID had to be relocated once again, this time to the Police Headquarters where they operated temporarily until now.
Officers will begin moving in as soon as this weekend to the new building.