Policing schools policy working

NASSAU — Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade yesterday revealed that he had initial “reservations” about the Christie administration’s school policing programme.

Bahamas Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade.

Greenslade said he worried about how he would balance the Royal Bahamas Police Force’s need to respond to serious crimes with the deployment of hundreds of officers to public schools. More than 200 police officers have been placed in schools since September.

However, Greenslade said those reservations have been allayed as he has now seen a beneficial impact of the school-policing programme since the start of the school year. The commissioner said while the programme is working there have been some incidents of school-related violence, but he maintained that most of those events happened away from campuses.

“The school based policing programme has been going extremely well,” Greenslade said during an interview at his office at police headquarters. “It would be unfair to say that I may not have had some reservations, [those] have disappeared based upon what has happened since the opening of school.

“I’m 100 per cent satisfied that had we not been proactive, had we not taken the stand that we took for full immersion we’d be in trouble. Even with full immersion we have some situations – we’ve had some kids injured outside of school, predominantly outside of school.”

When asked to elaborate on his initial worries, Greenslade said his concern stemmed from pondering how to best use the RBPF’s manpower as the force grappled with violent crimes.

“We were challenged to a great extent to put up resources to the frontline to deal with hardcore criminal issues, armed robberies, rapes, the murders, shooting reports – those kinds of things,” the commissioner said.

“So when you take an organisation and shift resources if you’re not careful you can get yourself into a bit of a difficulty. So my reservations were around how I would in fact move resources around and did I need to make the full step.” (Nassau Guardian)

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