Prime Minister Perry Christie officially opened the Royal Bahamas Police Force 22nd Annual Summer Youth Programme yesterday.
The programme seeks to positively engage the nation’s youth today for a brighter tomorrow and according to Prime Minister Christie during the opening ceremony at Salem Union Baptist Church, the programme has benefitted thousands of Bahamians
During his address, the prime minister congratulated the hundreds of children at the ceremony and paid tribute to their parents and others who contributed to the programme.
“I want to thank the citizens of our community,” he said.
“The reasons why I have begun congratulating those outside of the force is because the RBPF can only succeed in their good work to the extent that they must succeed in gathering peace and security in our country starting with the youth of our nation. The people of The Bahamas are to appreciate what they are doing and join them in ensuring that we are all building towards a safer and more prosperous Bahamas.”
The prime minister commended the RBPF for what he calls “going out of their way to ensure better opportunities and a positive environment for the youth of the country.”
He compared the local police force to regional and international forces and said by far, the RBPF is the best there is.
“We do not limit ourselves simply to rules,” Mr. Christie said.
“In an island nation of The Bahamas, the obligation of the RBPF is five times bigger than other single island nations. The commissioner of police has to administer a force and take responsibility for security, island by island over 100,000 square miles of oceans. There is no other police force on this side of the world with that obligation.”
The summer youth programme is consistent with Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade’s Policing Plan Priority number five, which is to work with young people.
The Mr. Greenslade said the programme is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive responsible citizens through the medium of academics, music and sports.
“The aim of the program is to use activities to teach our young people skills,” Mr. Greenslade said.
“We are trying to teach them life skills, decision-making, anger management, conflict resolution, the importance of self-respect and respect for others. This programme assists with developing a stronger Bahamas with less crime, drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, gang violence, high school drop outs and less family abuse. I offer my congratulations to everyone who made an effort in supporting this programme including our youth who we will never give up on.”
The summer youth programme is home to hundreds of young Bahamians in the country with numerous bases scattered across the islands of The Bahamas.
The summer programme aims to create a positive environment for young people and offers a place that provides leadership, development and decision-making responsibilities.