Wed | Jan 16, 2019

Operation Hope initiative in Clarendon off to a great start

Published:Thursday | June 9, 2016 | 12:00 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston
The police have fun with the children at a treat held last Saturday at the Effortville Community Centre.

MAY PEN, Clarendon:

Operation Hope, a joint initiative between the Clarendon police, Errol Rattray Evangelistic Association and the May Pen Ministers' Fraternal, in just its first week has already started bearing fruit.

The team started off with school devotions at Central High, May Pen Primary and Effortville Primary schools.

Other activities for the week included community walks, children's treat and an open air rally in the Effortville/Farm communities.

Reverend Norman King, chairman of the May Pen Minister's Fraternal, expressed pleasure in how the operation has been going so far, but is calling for more support from the churches in the area.

"It is encouraging, we have started it and it is still building momentum. During the week, we saw more and more support," he told Rural Xpress.

Evangelist Errol Rattray said what was heartening for him was the way the older and middle-aged men turned out to support the community forum.

"The older men reminisced on the days when Effortville used to be peaceful, while the middle-aged sees themselves as the protectors for the community," he said.

He also said he felt great to hear them calling for more accountability from the parents of at risk children.

"They feel there should be a law against parents who allow their children to run wild without taking any parental responsibility."

Rattray said it is a great feeling to be working alongside with the police going into the communities and this he is sure will see a better relationship between the troubled areas and the police going forward.

Rattray said the combined team's walk through the communities was welcomed by residents and many even questioned why it has never happened before. They also took the opportunity to talk about their fears and got to know the police better.

"For me, my mission was to allow the public to see that there are good and Godly persons in the police force that they can talk to. It has created a great impact to the extent that when we told them on Sunday night that we are going to another community they didn't want us to leave," he said.

Sergeant Maylor Wallace of the Community Safety and Security Branch in May Pen said for her it was a chance for residents to see another side of policing.

The team is now in the Bucknor/Bucks Common areas with Canaan Heights and Free Town/Sandy Bay remaining.

Operation Hope was commissioned by Senior Superintendent of Police and commander for the Clarendon Police Fitz Bailey in an effort to reduce crime in the parish.