Months after the St Mary’s Police Post in Moruga was repurposed by then Police Commissioner Gary Griffith, residents are calling for a functioning police station in their area.

Complaining that they now have to depend on police at either the Barrackpore or Princes Town Police Stations to respond in the event of an emergency, the residents say it is not fair to them.

Collin Morris, president of the St Mary’s Police Council said, “The police post, the biggest problem is that sine Gary did what he had was to do, he left the community of St Mary’s Village that is developed with a lot of business and lot of activity, now other police we have to lean on.”

Morris added, “ We have to go Barrackpore, we have go like places like Princes Town and I think Tableland. I never believe it was a good move, I believe they could have just transform the whole police post because it was not a station. I believe they could have done something different. But it left the community in St Mary’s people still clueless in terms of crime where to go and it is kind of frustrating.”

Morris said given the crime situation in the country, residents would feel more comfortable with a police station in the area.

“We hoping to God that at least we could see officers back in the police post, they could transform it to a police station and they could just make it more competitive and more action and get the right-thinking police to be in the station.”

Due to COVID-19, there has not been much activity taking place at the police building, but he said recently the police youth club held a training session there.

While there is supposed to be at least one police officer at the building to take reports, Morris claimed the police officer there is not equipped to respond to distress calls.

“I know for sure they moved out all the equipment and computers from the post.”

Instead, he said the officer has to forward the report or reports to one of the other stations for police officers there to respond. However, Morris said there have been regular motorcycle police patrols in the community.

After residents protested the move in February, Griffith held a town meeting with them to explain why the post and the Tableland Police Station were being repurposed. Griffith said then that the move was geared towards improving the standard of policing, increasing the police presence on the streets, increasing patrols and improving the police interaction with citizens.

A senior officer told Guardian Media that the police building at St Mary’s Village was seldom being used since it was repurposed.

He felt that having four police officers, two in the morning and two in the evening, “guarding” an “unoccupied” building was a waste of time.