Urban Renewal officers promote safety message
Freeport News Reporter
As back-to-school shopping goes into high gear, Urban Renewal officers took to the streets of downtown yesterday.
They were there to promote the message of safety and remind the shopping public and business owners to be extra cautious during the back-to-school shopping period. Visiting various stores in the area, the officers undertook an initiative where they handed out pamphlets and spoke to residents about their safety concerns.
"We know that the reopening of school is fast approaching and we want to help all the families that have kids going back to school to understand that it is very important for safety measures to be in place leading up to the reopening of school," inspector Henry Rolle, police coordinator for Urban Renewal on Grand Bahama said.Rolle said during the next week, Urban Renewal officers would amp up their presence on the streets.
"You will see an aggressive approach with the Urban team out on the streets giving assistance to persons who we know need help in transferring funds and also we will be in and about the business community with persons who are shopping," he said.
Officers were busy presenting pamphlets aimed at informing the public and businesspersons about steps they can take to protect themselves.
Rolle noted that people should be careful not to travel with large amounts of money, be aware of people who dwell around business places and be mindful of strangers wandering around in neighborhoods.
"I just want members of the public to be aware that safety is very important for the police and we encourage you to be very cautious of your surroundings at all time," he said.
While on foot patrol in the downtown fruit and vegetable market, Rolle noted that police intended to increase their presence in that particular area because of concerns about vagrants who frequent the area.
"This is one of the issues we are trying to address and it's a concern because it is a touristic area and we want to keep it safe, healthy and clean for our visitors," Rolle said. "We are going to make sure that all of the team from Urban Renewal continues to walk about as much as possible in conjunction with Central Police Station and the officers attached there too."
Nancy Dean, a vendor in the market echoed Rolle's concern about vagrants, adding that the vendors would welcome increased police presence.
"If the officers would make their presence more known it would do much more for this area. For instance, when have our tour buses come through, sometimes guys try to sell things illegally and if the police are present they would really think twice before they try to move once," she said.
Dean said both the vendors and tourists would feel safer if they are free to maneuver and not have to look over their shoulders as much if officers are around.
© 2012 The Freeport News