Boys from the Samuel Guy Pinder All Age School assisting with the painting of the exterior of the Spanish Wells Police Station.
Boys from the Samuel Guy Pinder All Age School assisting with the painting of the exterior of the Spanish Wells Police Station.

Police Officers from stations throughout Eleuthera were involved in reaching out to schools and students in a variety of ways during the latter part of February 2022, as part of the RBPF’s goal of engaging with youth through community relations.

On Friday, February 25th, 2022, during their midterm break, a group of six boys from the Samuel Guy Pinder All Age School assisted with the painting of the exterior of the Spanish Wells Police Station. The interior of the station was also cleaned by W/Sgt. 3341 Brancaccio assisted by Ms. Raiser Hamilton, a teacher with the All Age School. During the painting project, which began at 9am and ran until 3pm the same after, police officers provided soft drinks and lit the grill for them.

On the same day, later that evening in Central Eleuthera, Inspector Alexandria Albury hosted a zoom meeting with female members of the Eleuthera Royal Youth Corps – a police youth group initiative started early in 2021. Albury spoke with the girls about the direction the youth program would take going forward, after a six-month pause due to the pandemic. Inspector Albury described the participation of the group of girls as enthusiastic, saying that they gave excellent suggestions and a proposed plan was formulated for the upcoming months. The students were also encouraged to share information on their current academic performance, so those who needed assistance could receive intervention. Other assignments were given and a follow up meeting scheduled where they would be introduced to Ch/Supt. Shanta Knowles OIC of the Eleuthera Division and Supt. Princess Scavella – Community Relations Coordinator. A virtual drill display in the homes wrapped up the all-girls meeting.

One day earlier, just ahead of the mid-term break, Samuel Guy Pinder All Age School held their annual literacy week characters parade. Officers of the Spanish Wells Police Station, Sgts. 2253 Brown, 3341 Brancaccio and 3531 Brancaccio participated in the colourful event, providing an escort for the parading students on the 20-minute walk through the Spanish Wells community. Following the parade, students returned on campus and engaged in fun activities like the three-legged race and tug-o-war. Police provided and operated the sound equipment for the event, to the delight and gratitude of the new principal, Ms. Navidia Mills. Officers from the Spanish Wells Police Station also engaged with grade one students earlier in February. Corporal Munroe read to the class a book entitled ‘The Red Turtle’, which highlighted the importance of embracing differences, and caring for one another.

Annual literacy week characters parade at the Samuel Guy Pinder All Age School.
Annual literacy week characters parade at the Samuel Guy Pinder All Age School.

Also, on the Thursday, Police in Central Eleuthera, in response to reports of arguments and other disruptive behavior on public school buses transporting students to the Central Eleuthera High School (CEHS), led an initiative dubbed, ‘Get on the Bus’. With the consent of District Superintendent of Education in Eleuthera, Mr. Michael Culmer and CEHS principal, Mr. Kevin Hepburn, Inspector Julian Newbold and his team of officers boarded buses destined for the townships of Hatchet Bay, James’ Cistern and Governor’s Harbour. During the ride they shared conflict resolution tips with the students and heard their concerns. Inspector Newbold described the students as receptive, and DSE Culmer expressed gratitude for the ongoing partnership with the police.

Other police teams were also busy engaging with their communities that Thursday. Inspectors Bethel and Sands visited the Gregory Town primary school and the P.A. Gibson primary school in Hatchet Bay with their team. Inspector Sands spoke to the student bodies on the topic of conflict resolution and Inspector Bethel and Sgt. Walker presented a set of safety tips to keep safe during the mid-term break.

'Get on the Bus' initiative by Police in Central Eleuthera.
‘Get on the Bus’ initiative by Police in Central Eleuthera.

On Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022, a team of police officers led by Inspectors Farquharson and Albury visited primary and pre-schools in the Governor’s Harbour and Palmetto Point areas, including, Kids-R-Us Pre-School, Center for Exceptional Learners, Little Blessing First Steps Academy, Agape House Nursery and Pre-School, Governor’s Harbour Primary School and Emma Cooper Primary School. Officers took the time to explain the roles of the police within the community.

In addition to school outreach, the Eleuthera Division of the Royal Bahamas Police Force celebrated the renovation of their recreation room at the Governor’s Harbour police station. The completed project was the culmination of ongoing self-help efforts by officers from that station.