US$28M 12-storey Brickdam Station to become new Police HQ

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

Construction will soon begin on the new twelve-storey glass and concert Brickdam Police Station.

The US$28 million contract was awarded to local construction company R. Basso and Sons construction in association with Qigjian Group Company, and is expected completed in 30 months.

The new Brickdam Police Station, which will have the capacity to house a total of 2,000 personnel, will feature central departments such a traffic, finance, impact base and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

This publication understands that the building’s design also caters for it to be earthquake-resistant. It also consists of state-of-the-art fire protection and detections systems, advance CCTV monitoring and access control systems, and a telephone and data connection system to provide 24-hour service.

During his remarks at the sod turning ceremony on Monday, President Dr. Irfaan Ali explained that the build-out of the new station will play a key role in transforming the country’s national security architecture, which is an initiative that aims to ensure Guyanese live in peace and crime rates are lowered.

“…and that is proactive policing and intelligent policing. It is how police and the how the security architecture build a capacity to help the country in developing a culture of living in peace and that is far different from fighting crime. That is proactively engaging community through community initiative, through community policing, through deploying the intellectual capabilities of our security architecture to infuse in the population a new model of thinking,” the Head of State expressed.

 Further, when completed, all services being accessed at the current Police Headquarters at Eve Leary will be moved to the Brickdam Police Station.

According to the Head of State, this will facilitate the development of Guyana’s first police academy.

“What we want to do is move as much of the services from Eve Leary into this new facility that we’re building here because we want to free up Eve Leary to be primarily the Police Academy,” he explained.

The Guyana Police Force’s Regional Police Division 4 ‘A’ Headquarters at Brickdam, Georgetown was destroyed by fire in October 2021.

Fire at the Brickdam Police Station

The fire which started in the upper part of an Eastern building, spread to several other mainly wooden buildings in the compound, destroying about 80% of the structure.

The fire also damaged a business place located in Hadfield Street behind the Brickdam Police Station.

Clarence Greene, the man suspected of starting the fire had appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts, where he was arraigned on two indictable charges of armed robbery and arson.

He was represented by Attorneys-at-Law Ronald Daniel and Kiswana Jeffords.The first charge stated that on October 2, 2021, he robbed Chitrannie Ramkissoon of a cellphone valued $160,000 while being armed with a gun. He was later arrested by Police at Leopold Street, Georgetown.

That same day, while being a prisoner at the Brickdam Police Station lock-ups, he unlawfully set fire to the Police Station. The accused then reportedly raised an alarm and other inmates were evacuated from the lock-ups. He was escorted to the Sparendaam Police Station, then to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and Major Crimes Unit.

After interviewing Greene, Police were able to secure a confession on record, where he admitted to setting the building on fire.

Initial reports from the Guyana Police Force regarding Greene’s confession indicated that the suspect told the Police that he became frustrated after being detained for a long period of time, and he then decided to start the fire. The confession led Police to question all the prisoners at the Brickdam Station at the time of the incident.

Two informants were taken from the Brickdam lock-ups to the Sparendaam Station, where they were placed in a cell with the suspect. During that time in the cell, the suspect allegedly informed the men that it was he who had started the fire which destroyed the Police Station.

The two men said the suspect allegedly told them that he took a piece of sponge, wrapped it on a piece of wire, and lit it with a cigarette lighter before pushing it through a ventilation hole in the cell.