April 4, 2015 by Fensic
Dis eh about de madness dat had govahments pinnin dey hopes orn beatin crime wid tings like SkyWatch; de blimp; Operation Anaconda an it stillborn sibling—Operation Baghdad.
Dis is about hope fuh de future dat start wid ah story about graduation day at ah poleece youth club in Laventille two weeks ago.
First ah backin back tuh arong de time Kamla an dem run Manning back tuh San Fernando after cuttin he tail. De word holistic seemed sweet in politicians’ mouth, especially when dey was pontificatin orn how tuh contain murders.
Cynical me tort all ah dem did hope yuh didn’t know what it mean an had tuh look it up. Since dictionaries gorn out ah style, yuh would ah have tuh wait tuh use de computer. Dat would give dem enough time tuh scratch dey head an come up wid ideas tuh rival de infamous quartet ah name above. Doh underestimate people eh.
Farse forward lil bit.
Ah didn’t know where it would end up when ah make de mental note tuh follow up orn dat graduation story but, is here ah reach—torkin about poleece youth clubs in general an wonderin way mih cynicism gorn.
Widout being on de grong where dem youth clubs is tuh see how dey operatin all ah know is what ah read an it have ah inherent flaw doin dat. Plus, wid so much information out dey, all ah expect tuh do here is scratch de surface an hope dat go be enough tuh raise awareness. So unless somebody want tuh pay fuh ah plane ticket, hotel, transport an food an drinks from Jenny’s On De Boulevard, let mih start.
Poleece youth clubs is part ah de holistic approach tuh fightin crime. De premise is simple: provide young people wid alternatives tuh crime by engagin dem een challengin an rewardin activities dat build self esteem, trust, an what David Rudder call ah spirit fiery tuh which I go add: tuh take orn de whole damn world.
So what eef dat doh rhyme?
Ah article from de Trinidad an Tobago Chamber of Commerce website say dat poleece youth clubs start since 1974 in St James an Cocorite. It say dey program geared tuhwards youths 5 tuh 25 years. However, de St. James youth club website not only say it youth club start in 1992, but dat it members age only go tuh 21.
De Chamber article probably get written in 2012 since it mention de poleece caravan gettin launched an dat happen under Gibbs in 2012. De growth in youth clubs had tuh be phenomenal since as it had 45 at dat time. Ah go give today’s count just now.
Regardless eef yuh cheer or cry when CoP Gibbs leave T&T, he had ah good grasp ah what de TTPS needed. Back in November 2011 is he who say dat poleece youth clubs was one way fuh de poleece tuh start regainin public trust an reduce de influence ah de criminal lifestyle.
Hard times had sorfened when he say dat because in 2010, den actin CoP James Philbert lamented de negative effect de lack of fundin had on youth clubs across de country. De phrase, significant decrease in membership is what de newspaper use. Still, Philbert was optimistic sayin dat de new govahment promised more money an udder types ah support.
Philbert was orn he way out de door at de time because de very next month Williams, who was now de actin CoP, was torkin about ah aggressive move tuh build youth clubs across de country. He was also lookin tuh communities tuh pardnah wid de poleece so dat not every cent had tuh come from de govahment.
Dis was ah turbulent period fuh de TTPS as govahments was playin musical chairs wid who was de service’s top officer. De next two years would be de larse time dat person didn’t have Ag in front dey name meanin actin eh, not Attorney General.
How serious is de TTPS about poleece youth clubs? In ah speech tuh one ah de youth clubs in Laventille, Williams pledge $500 from he salary towards youth clubs. I interpretin dat tuh mean from each check.
In ah earlier interview published in ah book call Trends in Policing: Interviews with Police Leaders Across the Globe, Volume Four, he say de plan was tuh have ah poleece youth club in every poleece district.
How many poleece youth clubs it have now? Accordin tuh de redesigned an professional-lookin TTPS website, is 101.
De Express say de larse one tuh open was de Brasso Seco/Morne La Croix poleece youth club in January dis year.
Supt. Paul, de officer in charge ah de Laventille Road one is quoted as sayin it have 9,200 plus young people in all de clubs across T&T.
Wid 101 poleece youth clubs, de TTPS parse de one youth club per poleece district Williams was torkin about because de 2014 – 2016 Strategic Plan orn dey website say it have 77 poleece stations an poleece posts across de nation.
Ah realize some communities have more dan one youth club. Laventille have de Laventille Road one an de Beetham Gardens one. De two is part of de five de National Gas Company sponsorin. De udders in La Brea, Couva an Penal.
De faces I see in every poleece youth club picture represent chirren being chirren like it should be: Smilin an showin orf new skills an accomplishments; adults—poleece officers, smilin back. Ah sure boundaries gettin pushed, after all, is young people. I also sure dem authority figures does push back. Just like it used tuh be an always should be: Schoolwork always first.
Since teenagers doh smile arong adults, ah know dat dem just being in de pictures mean dey not unhappy which part dey is.
Ah assume dat fuh dem on de real young young side, de clubs eh nuttin but baby sitters but better. Ah mean what better dan ah environment wid no fear ah crime intrudin?
Ah had tuh swallow hard when ah read dat de officers involved wid de clubs doin so as volunteers. Some involved deeper because dey blessed wid vision, like Marchia Marchan. In 1986, den ah SRP, she start de Bagatelle/Blue Basin poleece youth club inside she house.
She saw de need.
It move arong since den buh larse month, March, when de club’s permanent home geh ceremonially open is she dey give de keys.
De poleece get dis one right.
Actin CoP Williams nail dis one.
I doh have orn ah hat now so ah cyar take it orf in tribute. Still, tuh de officers who realize de truism in dat African proverb: It takes ah village tuh raise ah chile, I bow tuh all ah allyuh. Puttin allyuh life on de line every day den tunnin rong an doin what allyuh does do tuh break de cycle. Nobody could know better dan each one ah allyuh how important dat second part of what allyuh does do is. Nobody.
Tuh everybody who claim tuh be Trini tuh de bone an want tuh help: Do what yuh can fuh de poleece youth clubs in yuh neighborhood. Yuh will never regret it.
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