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Police urge pastors to save youths from crime

Published:Saturday | September 6, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Barrington Flemming, Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:Deputy superintendent in charge of the Sangster International Airport police, Paul Stanton, has urged the St James Ministers' Fraternal to collaborate with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in curtailing crime among young males in the parish.

Stanton was bringing greetings on behalf of the JCF at the installation service for the executive of the St James Ministers' Fraternal at the Montego Bay New Testament Church of God. He entreated pastors to take the time to mentor boys, who are at the centre of crime and violence.

"In this time and age, we are really facing some very severe challenges within the JCF, and now more than ever we need men of God who can stand in the gap and assist us, as we tackle crime and violence and other social ills within the society," said Stanton.

"So we are saying, as members of the constabulary force, rise up, men of the kingdom ... as you tackle this very serious scourge in the society. We urge you to be there to make that very significant change in the society," he added.

Stanton bemoaned what he said was the continuous abandonment of values and attitudes, including the erosion of respect for authority figures.

"Once upon a time, children used to go home to their parents and say, 'Teacher beat me'; now, the situation has seen a reverse, where teachers are going home to their spouses and family and say to wife or husband, mom or dad, 'A student beat mi,'" said Stanton. "That is the type of situation that we are confronted with today."

"There is a need for spiritual upliftment in the island. When there is a prisoner population of 120 and 90 per cent are under 20 years of age, it is cause for serious concern. So at the JCF, we are looking forward to see how well we can reach out, especially to the young men in the society," the deputy superintendent added. "Right now, those are the persons that are really creating havoc on the social fabric of our country."

President of the Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches, the Reverend Conrad Pitkin, conducted the installation of the 10-member executive and urged them to be faithful in their duties and to hold true to the tenets of God.

The newly appointed executive of the fraternal are: chairman, The Rev Glendon Powell; vice-chairman, The Rev Davewin Thomas; secretary, The Rev Godfrey Francis; treasurer, The Rev Raston Edwards; assistant secretary, The Rev Mary Wildish Reece; public relations officer, The Rev Marc Mullings; and social issues coordinator, The Rev Carriel Graham. Members without portfolio are The Rev Clement Clarke, The Rev Barbara Messado, and Keswick chairman, The Reverend Milton Davidson.