Commanding Officer of the St. James Police, Superintendent Vernon Ellis, says 30 resource officers have been selected for high schools in the parish, as the police anticipate a smooth start to the new academic year on September 2.
Speaking with JIS News during a School Resource Officers’ Seminar at the Freeport Police Station in Montego Bay on Wednesday (August 28), Superintendent Ellis explained that the school resource officers will be focusing on student behaviour as well as partake in lectures and programmes.
He said the school resource officers will be working closely with guidance counsellors and the deans of discipline in these secondary institutions. Among these are Cornwall College, Montego Bay High School, St. James High School and Anchovy High School.
“The purpose of the school resource officers will be to develop a comprehensive safety plan to ensure schools are safe and they remain a safe place for students to learn,” Superintendent Ellis said.
He pointed out that this approach also serves to build a better relationship between the younger generation and the police.
“So, school resource officers are responsible for working with school administrators, security staff, parents, teachers and the overall school association,” he said.
In the meantime, Superintendent Ellis outlined that the new school year will see the St. James Police rolling out a traffic management plan that will have officers manning key intersections to reduce traffic.
He said it is imperative that students get to school on time and in a safe manner.
Additionally, he indicated that officers will be policing specific areas in downtown Montego Bay, in a bid to curb students loitering.
“We know all schools won’t be out at once, so we are going to prioritise those that will get off at the get-go and then the rest of our police strategy should take us through. So, we are going to be patrolling those areas for the first week or two weeks, until there is a smooth transition,” Superintendent Ellis said.