Police outreach programme achieving its objectives
Police Commissioner Henry Greene yesterday rewarded the co-ordinators of the Force’s Community Outreach Programme for what he described as a remarkable job in maintaining the interest of the initiative.
The occasion was the annual Christmas luncheon and concert for the children of the Force’s adopted community of Rosemary Lane (Tiger Bay).
The programme has been in existence for more than a decade with the aim of involving the youths of the depressed community in socially acceptable vocations and to wean them away from anti-social behaviour.
The children meet every Sunday at the Police Sports Club where they benefit from religious and other social interventions.
The Commissioner was so impressed with the performance of the children throughout the cultural presentation at yesterday’s event that he handed out monetary rewards to most of the participants.
He even promoted on the spot a woman Lance Corporal to Corporal for her contribution to the successful running of the project.
According to Greene, the end of year display by the participants manifests the strict adherence to detail and this could only augur well for the continuation of the Police Outreach Programme.
“A programme like this cannot be produced overnight. You can’t bluff it and I have seen preparation for which I’m very glad,” the Commissioner said.
The project has evolved into the formation of Scout groups co-ordinated by the Guyana Police Force in Georgetown, Linden and on the West Demerara.
The Commissioner advised the children that it does not matter what stigma is attached to their community, success will come if they dedicate themselves to achieving whatever goal they set themselves.
He reminded that he is a product of the Tiger Bay community and his achievement should serve as an incentive for them to strive to be productive citizens of the society.
Crime Chief, Seelall Persaud, under whose portfolio the project directly falls, disclosed that the police have been trying to track the progress of some of the persons who have passed through the police outreach programme.
He said that so far the investigations have proven that most of them have become responsible adults.
“Some of them are professional surveyors, nurses and so on,” the crime chief said.
He noted that unfortunately one of the previous participants is now incarcerated for manslaughter.
However, he is of the view that the time spent with the children of Tiger Bay every Sunday helps to take them away from anti-social activities.
“I know that they have come from tough neighbourhoods and their exposure to the police in those neighbourhoods would have been in the law enforcement mood. But this exposure (outreach programme), exposes them to another mode of policing so that when they become adolescents and adults it would tend to taper some of the bias views of the police,” the crime chief said.