Police and high school officials discuss student and staff safety

(RSCNPF): Members of the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF) and members of the administration from the two high schools in Basseterre met on Thursday (December 11) to discuss safety and security issues. The intention of the talks was to further ensure the protection of the staff and students, as well as the facilities on the premises.

The meeting took place at the Washington Archibald High School. The team from the RSCNPF was headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) with responsibility for the Operations Directorate – Terrance James and included Tactical Commander – Superintendent Adolph Adams, Head of the Anti-Gang Unit Task Force – Inspector Travis Rogers and Force Personnel Officer – Mr. Clifford Govia. Meeting with them from the Washington Archibald High School were Principal Mrs. Joan Sargeant, Vice Principal Mr. Stafford Pemberton and Guidance Counselor Pastor Lincoln Connor. From the Basseterre High School were Principal Mr. Maurice Benjamin, Vice Principal Mr. John Samuel and Guidance Counselor Mrs. Sasha-Gay McDermott. Representing the Ministry of Education was Education Officer, Mrs. Lisa Pistana.

ACP James said that the meeting was part of the police force’s community policing initiative.

“We plan to reach out to all the schools. The only way to address the number of violent incidents that occur in schools is to partner with the schools. We have a mandate to ensure that we protect our young people and the police will do what we can, on our end, to make certain that that is the case,” ACP James said.

The Principals expressed their appreciation to the police for their efforts to date to protect the staff and students of the two schools. They also praised the officers who have been assigned to their schools and how quickly they responded when called upon. These officers conduct daytime patrols in the vicinity of the schools and assist in any other way possible upon request. The officials from the school indicated their desire to have the police presence maintained throughout the current school year.

Several issues were discussed. Chief among them were gang-related activities, securing the schools’ perimeter and facilities, as well as ensuring that the schools’ surroundings were well lit. The Principals also shared a few of the initiatives they were undertaking to address some of their issues.

Mrs. Pistana described the meeting as “excellent.” She said that she thought they were able to discuss how to resolve several issues and added that once they continued to work together they should continue to see results.

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