Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson suggested yesterday that there are no plans to place any additional police officers at schools, in light of the recent stabbing death of a 15-year-old boy on Pitt Road.
“We have officers on the street daily,” Ferguson told reporters following the launch of gunfire locator technology from ShotSpotter Technology at police headquarters.
“I believe that we have adequate officers out there.
“We are not going to be everywhere. That is why it’s so important that a society and particularly, again, I point to persons who are responsible for the children, to make sure they are grounded in the right thing and understand what it is you ought to be involved in and what it is you ought not to be involved in.”
Perry Rolle, a ninth-grader at T.A. Thompson Junior High School, was stabbed in the chest during a brawl with another student from C.C. Sweeting Senior High School, authorities said.
But Ferguson said this has nothing to do with officers’ presence in the schools.
“It has to do with behavior,” he added.
“We have to continue to train our children.
“Our children have got to learn how to behave, and that is a function really of parenting, simple and plain as that. We cannot shortcut that.”
In September 2012, more than 200 police officers were permanently assigned to government senior and junior high schools in New Providence, Grand Bahama and Abaco.
The move marked the relaunch of the Christie administration’s school-based policing initiative that was abandoned under the last Ingraham administration, shortly after it came to office in 2007.
Instead of maintaining their presence on school grounds, officers were stationed outside of schools during peak hours.
The move was met by wide criticism, with some calling it a “huge mistake”.
Minister of National Security Marvin Dames said yesterday that he and Minister of Education Jeffrey Lloyd have been discussing the matter of school security “for a while now”.
“We are contemplating how do we combine technology and how do we improve our human resource outlay, and that’s in terms of preparing our teachers and training our security officers and improving police visibility in these areas,” he said.
Days before public schools were set to open last September, Dames had said that police visibility would be increased in and around school zones.
Yesterday, he dismissed claims that officers were pulled out of those zones.
“The government did not scale back on school policing and I don’t know where that’s coming from,” Dames said.
“As a matter of fact, we have improved our thrust. And if you look at the numbers from a holistic standpoint you would see, I mean 2018 crimes dropped in almost every category. So that’s not any indication that there’s been a scale back.
“We as a government have put in place what we feel are very innovative and modern crime fighting strategies that will take us into the years ahead. We feel very confident about that.”