Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 03, 2017 (SKNIS): Young persons within communities throughout the federation are expected to play active safety and security roles as a number of initiatives are being rolled out in an effort to form closer relationships with the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF).
“In relation to the way forward, we are expecting to introduce cadets in our secondary schools starting in September 2017. We are beginning with the police to form a number of community groups so as to develop an affinity and closeness between the younger generation and the police,” said Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, during his (August 03) monthly press conference.
Dr. Harris spoke to the formation of a Community Youth Group, the MOL-PHIL Explorers, a group he described as “one distinct element of community policing”.
“One of the largest groups has been formed called the MOL-PHIL Explorers and it has a membership of 120 young persons. I hope that will be sustained,” he said, while commending Inspector Rosemary Isles, who has been spearheading this particular project, as well as all of the parents who volunteered their children to participate in the exercise. “We hope that giving the young people a chance to interact with police, that confidence is being built, friendship is being shared and many of them, one day, will come to be outstanding police officers too.”
The national security minister used the occasion to also commend the efforts of Dr. Neals Chitan, anInternational Social Skills Consultant and Crime Reduction Specialist, “who has been in the federation “working in terms of social involvement in the communities, attempting to reach out to groups and at-risk youth”.
Dr. Chitan, has been working with members of the RSCNPF force as part of their efforts at community policing, and has also spent a substantial amount of time in Nevis working with the Department of Community Development.
In addition to initiatives already in place, police officers involved in the Community Policing Initiative will begin to function as Police School Resource Officers and be responsible for the delivery of the TAPS (Teen and Police Services) programme in all secondary schools in St. Kitts, and generally, work full-time with the said schools to engage, educate and empower the teenagers.