Nassau, Bahamas – Remarks by Hon. Dr Hubert A. Minnis, M.P. Appreciation Thanksgiving Service for Law Enforcement Officers under the Auspices of the Bain Grant’s Town Advancement Association 3:00 p.m., Sunday, July 26, 2015 at St. John’s Native Baptist Church, Meeting Street
It is a real pleasure to be here today and I thank Rev. C.B. Moss and members of the Bain and Grant’s Town Advancement Association for the opportunity. It is always the right time to worship and offer thanks and praise to our creator. Furthermore, I can’t think of a better time than now, to show appreciation for you, our law enforcement officers.
You are essential to the future progress of The Bahamas, our precious homeland. At this point in our history, no well-meaning person could deny that crime has risen to an unacceptable high level. In this forty-second year of our independence, we find that more and more of our freedoms are being stripped by escalating assaults on men, women, children, and businesses, and on law enforcement officers. As a Christian nation, any assault on members of our citizenry should strike us to the heart and cause us to grieve.
Law enforcement officers stand in the gap for us, in face of the tide of violence that is threatening to dismantle Bahamian society, and bleed out our national resources. You are the ones who are stopping it from drowning us.
I salute all law enforcement officers, and I want you to know that I appreciate the work that you do, and I thank you for your service. As a Member of Parliament and Leader of the Opposition, I pledge to do all in my power to support you, and the cause for which you daily put your lives on the line. I pledge to promote a more enlightened view of crime.
I am a product of Bain Town. The communities of Bain Town and Grant’s Town, and similar communities have produced many more sons and daughters like me, who had the opportunity for a good education, and studied hard to overcome poverty and other forms of adversity. In my time, it took the support of caring parents, guardians, neighbors, teachers, priests, ministers and, yes, police officers. These good people worked day and night to keep us on the straight and narrow. A caring community took pride in seeing us rise and gave us a push upwards when needed.
Today, there are more youngsters who resist the pull of crime. Let us rise up as a community again to snatch more potential leaders from the hands of evil.
You see, if crime is the crime of community, the salvation of a community must come from concerted action within the community and on the national level. We all must own a piece of the problem and make our best contribution to tuning into a new channel—a channel of peace. All of us—government, politicians, educators, churches, social services, civic organizations, and citizens of goodwill, must join law enforcement to take crime in hand, and the societal problems feeding the monster.
In this regard, the Bain and Grant’s Town Association is a shining example, lighting a clear path for us to follow. For many years now, the Association has held a steady course in pursuing the betterment of your twin communities. I salute and commend Rev. C.B. Moss, founder and leader, and each of you who make sacrifices to improve these communities.
I implore government to strive to properly equip every law enforcement officer with the skills, tools, knowledge and equitable pay and working conditions to protect and secure communities across our nation. Strive to do all in your power to empower them to do their jobs safely, so that at the end of the day, they return safely home.
As law enforcement personnel, I implore you to continue to commit to service. You are the nation’s bulwark against a raging storm. Seek to serve before seeking promotion. With the Lord’s help, the promotion will follow service excellence.
As good citizens, let us support the Police Association and similar bodies concerned with bettering the condition of law enforcement officers and their families, especially the loved ones of those who lost their lives in the line of duty. Let us support officers assigned to the areas in which we live, by becoming neighborhood watchers and by reporting crime. Let us thank those officers who consistently do a good job, respecting and protecting the public they serve.
Let us daily recognize and support the men and women who put their lives on the line to keep us, our families and our homeland secure each and every day. We are counting on you. Be assured I work without ceasing to be a person and leader you can count on.
Thank you and God Bless.