Hopewell residents plea for police post
Following the murders of two men who were shot and killed at the same location just days apart in the township of Hopewell in Hanover, concerned residents and several community group leaders are renewing their call for a police post.
The residents called on Superintendent Sharon Beeput, commanding officer for the parish, to honour her promise and start the construction of the post in the community.
A number of groups leaders told THE STAR that following a recent upsurge of murders in the community, starting from 2019, they met with Beeput and lobbied for a police post.
It was then decided that the Electoral Office compound, located at the entrance to Pond Piece community, was a designated location where the police post was suitable to be constructed.
That promise, residents say, seems to have been placed on hold, and the community was once again overshadowed with gloom following the murders of 28-year-old Damion Buchanan and 29-year-old Sheldon Hines. They were killed on Sunday, February 9, and Wednesday, February 12, both in Hopewell Square.
"A police post was well needed months ago, and following these recent murders, we have all agreed that the police post is long overdue for Hopewell," Derrick Wright, justice of the peace and president of the Hopewell Citizens' Association, told THE STAR. "We recently met with Superintendent Beeput, who insured us that a police post was to be erected on top of the Electoral Office in Hopewell, but months have now passed and we are still seeking nothing."
He noted that there was a murder committed on the compound of the Hopewell Mall, and now two more murders have been committed in the square.
"We believe that if the police post was in place, those killings could have been avoided. Also, we are seeing the police presence in Hopewell area, but we, as members of the citizens' association, think the police must not only show themselves, but they need to carry out a lot more vehicular and body searches of community members," he said.
Another concerned community leader, Walter Walker, a former Jamaica Defence Force officer and the community sports leader in Hopewell, said that the police post was needed.
"(It is needed) especially in times like these when we are seeing an increase in community murders. Also, the police need to spend more time in Hopewell community, and carry out more effective community policing," Walker said. "Hopewell is the fastest-growing community in Hanover, and the police need to erect the police post and blend within the community in order to flush out these criminals and curb crime."
When contacted, Beeput told THE STAR that the police are still honouring their end of the bargain.
"Things like this take a little time and we have now reached the lease-agreement process, and we hope to start the construction of the police post in short order," Beeput stated.