No more meetings at ‘The Hill’

CLEARING IT DOWN – St. Georges High School (St. GHS) Vice principal Chester Cooper (right) was all smiles yesterday as ‘The Hill’ was cleared down by ASP Henry Rolle

St. Georges’ High School (St. GHS) Vice principal Chester Cooper breathes easier following the removal of dangerously overgrown underbrush along the perimeter of the institution on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.

Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Henry Rolle, Urban Community Policing Unit struck a partnership with Gordon Ritchie, A & C Heavy Equipment and Construction Co. Ltd., who decided to use heavy duty equipment to voluntarily clear trees and underbrush adjacent to St. GHS infamously referred to as “The Hill” that had been a truant’s haven and nuisance for several years.

According to ASP Rolle, “Today, the RBPF Urban Community Policing Unit continues with its mandate to effectively and efficiently address concerns regarding the safety and security of learning institutions throughout the Grand Bahama community.

“There has been numerous challenges in this particular area known as “The Hill” with respect to outsiders and truants hanging out in the trees and overgrown underbrush along St. GHS’ perimeter, which pose a significant danger to students, administrators, teachers and faculty on a daily basis.

“Complaints and serious concerns have been reported to law enforcement by administration of St. GHS as well as residents in the surrounding community notifying us that at-risk students engage in truancy on “The Hill,” meanwhile outsiders engaged in nefarious, promiscuous acts.

“In light of these reports, law enforcement officers have sought to have the area cleaned up and thankfully, Mr. Ritchie offered to assist both the police and St. GHS by rendering the services of A & C Heavy Equipment and Construction Co. Ltd., to properly address this vexing issue.

“We are definitely grateful to Mr. Ritchie and his team for rendering this community service ridding the area of overgrown underbrush right along the school’s perimeter from the main road back more than 150 yards and at least 30 feet wide on the western periphery.”

For more than 18 months ASP Rolle and his team have desperately tried to have the property cleared and have been fortunate to have the vacant property across from St. GHS properly bulldozed and an unobstructed line of sight created, thereby preventing nefarious activities.

Students who once took shortcuts through the overgrown area whether to or from school no longer had to worry about being attacked and school administrators had concerns put to rest that outsiders were lurking about to cause any member of the St. GHS populous any harm, revealed ASP Rolle.

Appreciative that St. GHS’ administrators provided the RBPF Urban Community Policing Unit with the necessary information to make the clearing, clean-up and removal of trees and underbrush a reality, ASP Rolle once again thanked Ritchie and A & C Heavy Equipment and Construction Co. Ltd. for ensuring that “The Hill” is unattractive for truants and criminals.

Plans are in the works to keep the area clean and properly maintained and ASP Rolle expressed his confidence that of course it would take a very long time before the underbrush would regrow to that same extent.

Vice principal Cooper revealed that St. GHS students, administrators, teachers and faculty feel blessed to have Ritchie, ASP Rolle and the team from A & C Heavy Equipment and Construction Co. Ltd. all working together to have “The Hill” cleared and look forward to truancy and criminal activities being thwarted as a result.

“We are certainly blessed and grateful to have “The Hill” cleared from all the overgrown shrubs, underbrush and vegetation, which has caused much stress and anxiety for all concerned.

“The Hill had been a perfect area for outsiders to congregate at and criminal activities to occur much to the dismay and possible educational detriment of St. GHS students.

“Promiscuous sexual activities, concealing drugs and weapons and numerous other activities have taken place on “The Hill” while several male teachers along with on-campus security have engaged repeatedly in chasing outsiders awa, thereby putting ourselves at-risk of being hurt.

“To have this work carried is a welcomed joy and now administrators, teachers and students can breathe much easier with the removal of these trees and underbrush.

“We certainly thank Mr. Ritchie and ASP Rolle for their help in this regard.

“Moving forward this clearing is going to make our work so much easier, we will be able to give a better account of students who may have decided to “duck” classes and readily inform their parents and/or guardians to garner the help necessary to keep them in school and the classroom,” stated Cooper.

ASP Rolle advised parents and guardians to be more vigilant as it relates to their children and to work hand-in-hand with St. GHS’ teachers, administrators and police to protect the students from bad influences and dangers that could impede their growth and development in a positive manner.

 

Published Wednesday, March, 15, 2017

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