Minister of National Security, the Hon. Marvin Dames said he was pleased to witness a vision become a reality during the official opening ceremony of the Albert J. Miller Complex Police and Fire Station on Friday, September 21. Minister Dames said he has fond memories of the island from when he was the Officer in Charge in 2009 under the Hubert Ingraham administration. That was when the complex took root; nine years later, it is being officially dedicated and opened. On hand to officially open the complex was Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis. Also present for the occasion were: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest; Minister of Works and Utilities, the Hon. Desmond Bannister; Minister of State for Grand Bahama, Senator the Hon. J. Kwasi Thompson; Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe; Parliamentary Secretary in the Minister of Works and Utilities, Iram Lewis; Rev. Frederick McAlpine; Commissioner of Police, Anthony Ferguson; Deputy Commissioner of Police, Emrick Seymour; along with Parliamentary Secretaries, government officials, the children and other family members of Sir Albert Miller, and friends.
The complex houses sleeping quarters for firefighters, a gym, a basketball court, and a police station. “I am especially pleased that the hardworking and industrious officers of the Fire Branch in particular, are finally able to leave behind the substandard conditions that they have had to endure for many years and to now be able to move into a modern facility to service the needs of the Pineridge community and by extension the entire island of Grand Bahama for a long time to come.” The Minister added that the complex bears the name of Sir Albert Joel Miller, whom he described as a former police trailblazer and a nation builder. Sir Albert, he continued, loved law enforcement and had a philanthropic spirit having donated the land on which the complex now sits. “It is indeed remarkable to see his name on this Complex as he never ceased being a police officer when he stepped down from the post of Deputy Commissioner in 1971 and has impacted the lives of many police officers within the Grand Bahama community and will continue to do so posthumously through this edifice.” The completion of the building could not have come at a better time, he said, “having concluded an empirically based Man Power Audit of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.” The ultra-modern complex will service the northeastern area of the island and with this addition, it is consistent with the vision of Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis to bring professional and effective policing to the country. “With the addition of this ultra-modern police and fire station, a squad of 30 fire recruits, a $6.9 million vehicle infusion, the latest in modern crime-fighting technology, we are well on our way.
“The Government of The Bahamas led by Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Minnis made a commitment to revitalize Grand Bahama and the opening of this complex will go a long way in supporting our government’s vision for our ambitious plans for our second city, Grand Bahama.” The Minister pledged that the Ministry of National Security will do its part in not only reducing the incidence of crime but also the fear of crime by having a more visible presence on the island. Sir Albert joined the Royal Bahamas Police Force in February 1943 and over a career spanning 25 years he rose to the position of Deputy Commissioner of Police and also acted as Commissioner of Police on five separate occasions. In 1971 he joined Bahamas Amusements Ltd., as vice-president and was elevated to president in 1974. In 1976, Sir Albert joined the Grand Bahama Port Authority as president and was later appointed co-chairman, a company he served for almost 30 years. While at the GBPA, Sir Albert was responsible for the company’s donation of the land for the Gerald Bartlett Police Complex on the Mall Drive, the Police Training College (Grand Bahama) and a nine-duplex housing complex for police officers on West Pioneers Way. Following the official ceremony, despite the rain, the delegation toured the facility.