New Police Headquarters Get Mixed Reviews

Phnom Penh municipal police say that their new headquarters in Russei Keo district are more spacious, quieter and more secure than their old location in the city’s center.

But police stationed at the new site also report sinking foundations, elect­ricity shortages, and an isolated address that can make their jobs as law enforcement officials difficult.

The new complex, set on 4 hectares of land, is still under construction by Phanimex Co, which agreed last year to build the new fa­ci­lity following a government land swap deal for the police old head­quar­ters on Street 51.

Deputy Municipal Traffic Police Chief Pen Khun says that he rarely leaves his new, larger office be­cause petrol is too expensive to make frequent trips to the city, a 20-min­ute drive away.

“Here, the work space is better, but for case intervention, it’s slower—we’re far away,” Pen Khun said. He added that the city’s outskirts are prone to traffic jams, which also slows police response times.

Pen Khun also pointed out gaping cracks in the concrete running along the outside walls of the freshly completed municipal traffic police headquarters. The buildings ap­pear to be breaking away from their foundations as the sandy soil under­neath the new site sinks in the seasonal rains.

Municipal Police Chief Touch Naroth said that overall, the new head­quarters are an improvement on the old headquarters near Phsar Thmei. But the power supply to the city police headquarters is not sufficient and roads leading to the relatively re­mote site need to be widened and repaved, he said.

“It’s a little far but not bad,” Touch Naroth said, adding that pa­trol officers are still dispersed through­out Phnom Penh to maintain order.

Phanimex Chairwoman Suy Sophan acknowledged foundation prob­lems with the buildings at the new site, and said they will be fixed.

“I must fix it for them soon to maintain construction quality,” she said, add­ing that she hopes building will be completed by the end of the year.

Suy Sophan also said that she has since resold the old police headquarters property to about a dozen developers who plan to build apartments on the lot.

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