Sunday 8 December, 2019

School Police Unit to be created to treat with violence

Education Minister Anthony Garcia (left); Police Commissioner Gary Griffith (second from right); Ministry officials.

Education Minister Anthony Garcia (left); Police Commissioner Gary Griffith (second from right); Ministry officials.

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith has met with Education Minister Anthony Garcia and other Ministry officials to discuss strategies to ensure greater security within schools.

The meeting took place at the Ministry of Education on Friday.

Griffith said given the incidents of violence within schools, it is imperative to establish a School’s Security Unit to provide social intervention and enforcement where necessary.

Under this new unit, there will be a number of police involvement in schools both covert and overt.

Several schools have been red-flagged based on the type and number of incidents which occur from reports received by the MOE from principals.

Meanwhile, Minister Garcia said a Memorandum of Understanding is to be drafted following consultations with relevant stakeholders. The MOU will detail the terms and conditions and standard operating procedures for the officers who will be a part of this new School Security Unit.

Commissioner Griffith explained that the Police Service has been placing greater emphasis on youth development through sports and mentoring to assist in steering them in a more positive direction.

He spoke of the Street Talk initiative, which is a mentoring programme similar to ‘big brother’ where officers will mentor young people by providing advice and guidance. The top cop said this programme will target ‘at risk’ youth from homes and schools, young men who have been released from prisons or rehabilitation centres, students who are on suspension and those who may have broken the law.

The TTPS chief added that there are close to 10,000 officers in the system who can assist with this community mentorship programme.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: