Nagra Plunkett, Assignment Coordinator
The St James Police Civic Committee has received a cash injection of $600,000 from Proven Wealth Limited to shore up plans for the group's second annual ball at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on October 20.
"We did not hesitate to confirm our sponsorship because it is our belief that as a community, it is essential that the persons who are sworn to protect us are in a comfortable environment," said Proven Wealth's chief executive officer, Chorvelle Johnson, during the press launch at Blue Beat in Montego Bay.
The St James Police Civic Committee, the only one of its kind in Jamaica, was conceptualised in April 2011 and is chaired by well-known businessman Dr Lee Bailey.
The committee comprises 22 members drawn from a wide cross section of the local business community and is centred on rehabilitating the various police stations in the parish, integrating the police into the community and recognising personnel for outstanding work ethic.
Grateful for corporate spirit
Dr Bailey told The Gleaner that he is very grateful to Chris Williams and Proven Wealth for their corporate spirit that will enhance the objectives of the committee. "The committee is not a new idea; we have just brought structure and purpose to it and carefully selected individuals of unimpeachable character and high integrity on board," Dr Bailey added.
He further stressed that they were not seeking favours from the police; rather, they hoped to bridge the gap between the police and the citizens. Dr Bailey added that research shows that when the police and the citizens are in harmony, violence and crime are reduced.
"We are working together to reduce the levels of crime in the society," he said.
Superintendent Andrew Lewis, interim commander for the St James Police Division, said he was impressed with the work of the committee.
"I think St James division is privileged to have such an esteemed group of persons working together in partnership to achieve the best possible outcome in service to the citizens whom we are sworn to serve and protect," he stated.
"I want to implore other well-thinking and upstanding citizens to come on board also and work in partnership with us for the benefit of the nation ... . National development and prosperity can only be fostered in an environment where there is peace, security and order."
Supt Lewis took up the three-month transfer as his colleague, Supt Egbert Parkins, completes a police management course.
The interim commander also called on the public to play its part in crime fighting, which is integral if Jamaica is to achieve First-World status by 2030.
"We realise that Vision 2030 can only be achieved if we deal with the problems - crime, violence and insecurity. So we have set ambitious targets for the reduction of crime and violence, especially murders, by 2015," said Supt Lewis.