Wed | Nov 30, 2022

Salt Spring on positive trajectory, say police

Published:Tuesday | October 4, 2022 | 12:09 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
A section of the guard rails and sidewalk in the vicinity of the Salt Spring Primary School in St James as part of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund’s Salt Spring Safe Passage Project.
A section of the guard rails and sidewalk in the vicinity of the Salt Spring Primary School in St James as part of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund’s Salt Spring Safe Passage Project.

WESTERN BUREAU:

HEAD OF the Montego Hills Police Station in St James, Sergeant Bruce Walker, said that the once-troubled community of Salt Spring is on a positive trajectory after an explosion in deadly violence a few months ago.

Walker, whose outstation is located in Montego Hills and is also responsible for policing several tough communities such as Flower Hill, Norwood, and Glendevon, said that Salt Spring has made positive efforts towards full transformation.

However, he pointed out that while the police are working on the ground with the help of law-abiding citizens, there is still more work to be done, especially as it relates to the ‘Dooney Corner’ area of the community, where some persons”seem hell-bent on giving us some problem”.

Walker was speaking on Sunday during a meeting of the Salt Spring Community Development Committee.

“We can’t allow Salt Spring – or the gains that we have made – to be eroded by these persons who have no intention for this community to progress,” he told citizens, asking them to stand up against criminals.

“Push out these guys and let them leave the community,” he said.

According to Walker, the community is at a point where investors can now take advantage of opportunities in the area.

“I know you guys are working your hearts out and I just want to be one of the persons who are assisting you in getting to the desired community that you are working towards,” added Walker.

Helping to fashion that transformation are members of the religious community and the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) through the implementation of several projects, including the provision of employment and safe passage for children at the Salt Spring Primary School. Parental training is also being facilitated by USAID.

“The church is playing a tremendous role, it is impacting the entire community of Salt Spring, Bottom Road and its environs. We are big on children and youth mentorship, catering for our young people through our Pathfinder and Adventurer clubs,” Pastor Rabbi Brown of the Salt Spring Seventh-day Adventist Church told The Gleaner.

He shared that it was the presence of the church, through the Footprints of Hope Crusade, which prevented a planned retaliation in the community earlier this year after several satellite stations were set up streaming services to the people in area.

“That was very impactful because at that time there was a threat for an impending retaliation of gun violence in the area, but because we were there for five extensive weeks every night, that was averted,” said Brown, noting that the church has also done significant work through youth ministry and evangelism, community service, and youth mentorship.

albert.ferguson@gleanerjm.com