(PLP PR Media Inc.) — Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, on Friday April 27 commissioned on the grounds of Tabernacle Police Station the most modern forensic laboratory in the Caribbean, and only the sixth such laboratory in the world.
“This government of which I have the privilege and the honour to lead recognises that the peace and the quiet and the progress and prosperity of the country are things over which we must give all our considered attention,” said the Prime Minister. “That is why we have been investing more and more in the National Security infrastructure.”
He told the gathering which included the Governor General His Excellency Sir Tapley Seaton, GCMG, CVO, QC, JP, and members of the Police High Command that “Our National Security would be better for the investments that the Government has in this particular structure here.”
Prime Minister Harris observed that the peace, order, safety and security and good governance are responsibilities which his Cabinet takes very seriously. The commissioning of the forensic laboratory, he added, would enhance the Government’s capacity to consolidate the peace, the safety and security of the country through its addition.
Work on the brand new state of the art forensic lab begun in November 2017, and according to Dr Harris, the project was completed in time and in budget. He thanked the team from Trinidad led by Mr Clive Bickkram for the expertise that they brought, saying that they showed themselves to be consummate professionals.
Head of the Forensic Department Mr Narace Ramnarine had advised Prime Minister Harris that the forensic laboratory was the best facility, equipment-wise, anywhere in the Caribbean. Top notch personnel have been trained to run the facility. The forensic laboratory staff members were presented with certificates by Prime Minister Harris.
“Mr Ramnarine promised us that we can make a difference if we were to give him the resources, and it took quite a lot of money to get to where we are at now here,” said Prime Minister Harris. “I hope, Mr Ramnarine that you will deliver the peace dividend which we are expecting.”
According to the Prime Minister, Government has been investing in programmes in almost every aspect of National Security, noting that they had inherited a situation where the National Security infrastructure was more or less in shambles, with dilapidated police stations, an inadequate vehicle fleet, the army barracks was inadequate, as was the Coast Guard Headquarters.
“In 2017 we disbursed EC$72 million to National Security,” observed Prime Minister Harris. “That was almost five times the allocation of EC$15.3 million allocated in 2014, and in 2018 we committed EC$75.5 million, the largest allocation ever to National Security. We did that because our inheritance was a bad one.”
The Government had completed the first phase of the CCTV Project and is about to start the second phase and Prime Minister Harris thanked the White Gate Development Corporation, which was represented by Mr Ellis Hazel, for volunteering to provide support. He also thanked the Government of the Republic of China on Taiwan, which was represented by its resident Ambassador His Excellency George Gow Wei Chiou for pledging to support the on-going work.