Security forces spruce up Parry Town Basic School
Mending both literal and metaphorical fences, members of the security forces turned out in their numbers on Labour Day to offer their services to the Parry Town Basic School in St Ann.
Members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) as well as staff from the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCO) beautified the school and socialised with residents. Deputy Superintendent Kevin Frances of the St Ann Police Division told THE STAR, "We're painting the slides, we're painting the monkey bars ... we're painting the tyres. The play area is getting a facelift. We also installed three new swings for the students to enjoy. We're painting the gate, we're mending fences."
Explaining that though the Parry Town community does have a violent history, he said that the JCF is extending an olive branch through its various outreach programmes.
"The military and the police are not only coming into Parry Town when we have hardcore policing. We're using this initiative as a means of reaching out, mending fences literally and otherwise and building relationships with members of the community," he said. "The kids are the ones who are for the future so we're laying the foundation. We've planted trees in keeping with the Labour Day project nationally, and we're ensuring that we maintain relationships."
Making a stop on the tour of his division, Head of the Police Area 2, Assistant Commissioner Calvin Allen, was all smiles as he helped to repaint alphabet letters with his team.
He told THE STAR, "This is the foundation of the future. Without an institution like this, I personally wouldn't be in the position I am now. So being here at Parry Town Basic School is critical as it relates to the future of our nation. I am a firm believer that education is the surest passport to a good future."
Principal of the basic school, Vanessa McCoy, said they were at a loss for words.
"We are pleased, we are excited, it's just a wonderful feeling to know that we are able to do this, not only the members of the JDF and JCF, but also TPDCO and the chairman and parents. We're happy to know that we can come out as a team today to beautify the environment because you know that the children are the future leaders and it begins right here," she said.
She also expressed hope for a long-standing partnership with the volunteers to further the development of the school.