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Apr 30, 2015

Lake-I Residents Pass Self Defense Program

The Precinct Two Police Officers, through their community policing, have been working on the ground to engage residents. From one on one interaction to group efforts, the police say they have been making sure to involve the community they operate in. So, over the past few months, they have been looking at activities and ways to connect with the residents especially on the south side. And after receiving assistance made possible by funds from the U.S. Embassy’s Economic Support Fund, they were able to support a group of ladies who were ready to start bringing their community together. News Five’s Andrea Polanco was on hand for the recognition ceremony at the Samuel Hayne’s Institute.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

After three months of self-defense training, twenty five women were recognized by the Police Department. An initiative started by a neighbourhood watch group, the program was extended to include other components in an effort to bring the community together.

 

Brent Hamilton

Sgt. Brent Hamilton, O.C., Community Precinct 2, Eastern Division

“This is a community effort. I am glad that one of the neighbourhood programs out of the four that we have within our precinct area decided to come along and have this wonderful idea to start a self-defense and fitness class. And what you all have learnt along with that was that we talked about nutrition, domestic violence, law, and we talked about love. So, that was very important to me because when we have people together, we need to discuss issues that are affecting us.”

 

And the community’s drive was felt. The residents bonded over a wish to improve the dynamics of their neighbourhood:

 

Deborah Sewell

Deborah Sewell, Executive Director, LOVE Foundation

“I am also encouraged because we were also able to dispel a myth. And that myth is that people communities “such as these” [and I do this] are not interested in health and fitness, which is not true. You guys dispelled that myth. You guys created camaraderie between each other. Yes, it started out as an initiative through the Aloe Vera neighbourhood watch group but there were others who were involved and others who came to be a part of it.”

 

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of working with the community is to build a connection with the people who live there. For the police, re-establishing this relationship is a priority.

 

Alden Dawson

Sr. Supt. Alden Dawson, O.C., Precinct 2, Eastern Division

“It is so pleasing to know that this initiative started with you the community members of the Aloe Vera neighbourhood watch. It then encourage and shows that you really care and concerned about your neighbourhood and willing to keep your neighborhood safe.  Our intention is to carry on this program into other neighbourhood. We would like to see such program spread across the entire Precinct Two. I am sure that it is one that is worth spreading and it builds that relationship with the community. That is our intent. As the Police Department, we intend to bind the community with the police once again, as in the past. We have seen over some time now that we have lost the relationship with the community.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

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