Safer Communities a Key Government Priority

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Hon. Tommy Turnquest inspecting police during fall graduation. (file photo) 

By: Matt Maura

NASSAU, Bahamas – The government is committed to ensuring that communities throughout The Bahamas are safer by providing the Royal Bahamas Police Force the resources necessary to perform their jobs effectively, National Security Minister and Immigration the Hon. Tommy Turnquest re-affirmed this week.

One of the government’s pledges to ensure the capacity and capability of the police to carry out its mandate is through an increase in insurance coverage for officers – an increase Mr. Turnquest said police officers as well as reservists injured in the line of duty will now receive effective January 2008.

Addressing officers at the police force’s annual church service held at Evangelistic Temple, Mr. Turnquest said the Government and a number of its agencies will implement several measures that will assist in the fight against crime in The Bahamas. Those measures include the implementation of effective street lighting on an ongoing basis and the numbering of all buildings in The Bahamas.

He added that law enforcement officials will also do the necessary to ensure the number of police officers assigned to communities meets the areas’ legitimate needs, and emphasized the importance of recognizing the many exemplary accomplishments of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

“I commend the Force for the continuation and expansion of the Community Policing Programme; the launching of the Victims Support Unit and the training of Reserve Police Officers for the Family Islands on which they serve,” Mr. Turnquest said.

“The Police Force is also to be commended for giving renewed impetus to Police-Community partnerships in the fight against crime. It is noteworthy that training, re-training and the expansion of the Force continues to be a priority.”

The National Security Minister admonished the men and women of the Royal Bahamas Police Force to recommit themselves to higher standards, respect for the civilian population and the rule of law, and encouraged officers and the community to work together to reverse the crime trend charted in 2007.

“We must be inspired by the message of hope, of the Good News in God’s Word that we can prevent and reverse those negative crime trends and set our country back on track in 2008.

“As we heard at the National Assembly on Crime, now is not the time to wage a war, but we must prosecute the peace. In fact, each of us as Bahamians ought to adopt the slogan ‘Peace begins with Me,’” Mr. Turnquest added.

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