St James police start breakfast programme at two Salt Spring schools

Observer West reporter

Thursday, May 09, 2019

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SALT SPRING, St James —The St James Police Division, in partnership with stakeholders, started a breakfast feeding programme in two schools in the tough inner-city Salt Spring community last week.

The schools benefitting from the social intervention are Hatfield Basic and Salt Spring Primary and Infant.

According to Detective Sergeant Eulette Lewis Green, the constabulary's liaison officer for St James, the initiative will be ongoing and will be followed by a homework programme, and hopefully a summer school programme.

She underscored that the breakfast programme is in addition to other types of social interventions targetting other age groups on which the police have already embarked.

"We wanted to target the younger ones. There are other programmes targeting other age groups, ages 17 to 24. We decided to target the babies because they are more susceptible to changes," Lewis Green argued.

"We want our citizens to know that the police are not only here to arrest and charge, but we want to work with community members, we want a better community. There are still decent and loving, law-abiding citizens in this community, Salt Spring."

Lewis Green expressed gratitude to all the stakeholders who have partnered with the police to initiate the school feeding programme.

"We want to also thank stakeholders, especially members of the Chinese community. This could not be possible without them. They are partnering with the JCF and we are very grateful," she remarked.

Principal of Salt Spring Primary and Infant School, Norma Brydson and her counterpart at the Hatfield Basic School, Carlene Miller, both expressed gratitude to the police for their intervention, and particularly, Superintendent Vernon Ellis, commanding officer for the parish, who initiated the programme.

"There are not enough words to express our gratitude. We are happy, we have been long waiting for opportunity like this. This community welcomes this initiative by Superintendent Vernon Ellis. We see the benefits already. The parents have turned the children out. The parents are on board to make sure that the breakfast is prepared from as early as 5:45am. We are so thankful, there were parents who had challenges providing breakfast," an ecstatic Brydson said.

"This social intervention seeks to fill the gap where the community saw the police as enemy. Now, this gesture is saying the police is our friend and they want to impact the community starting with the children. So as leader of this noble institution we welcome this, we are 100 per cent grateful for this."

Miller concurred.

"We are extremely grateful because this venture is actually securing the future of Salt Spring and Jamaica at large. The parents have already expressed how grateful they are for this," the principal of the early childhood institution stated.

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