On August 29, public and private school teachers learned about the Renew Program, or Urban Renewal 2.0 Livable Neighbourhood Program, from the officer in charge of the operation on Abaco, Sgt. Jocelyn Smith. Sgt. Smith stated that the program will have several arms, one of which is the school policing unit which will become operational on September 3, 2012.
Two officers will be assigned to Abaco Central High and S. C. Bootle High Schools. The officer assigned to ACHS will be Sgt. 686 Dorsette and the officer assigned to S.C. Bootle will be Corporal 2238 Jerome Ferguson. Each of them will be assisted by a reserve officer. Their job will be to provide security and promote safety on these campuses. They will also patrol the school grounds and surrounding areas. It was made clear that these officers will handle offenses that occur in and out of school.
The additional officers of the Urban Renewal Program are Constable 3203 Kenton Clarke, Reserve Officer Janice Jones (Creole speaker), Officer Moss and Sgt. Smith. All of these officers have worked with the Urban Renewal Program in Nassau. Sgt. Smith stated that they are excited about the opportunities these programs will bring.
The Urban Renewal Project will facilitate four programs: Etiquette Program, Drill Core Program, Youth Music Band, and the Renew Program. The Etiquette Program will be available to primary school students in grades 4 to 6. The program is for kids who get into trouble or go into detention. The Drill Core Program is for students in grades 4 to 10. It will teach discipline, character building and respect for peers and others. She believes that the drills they have learned as police officers teach discipline.
The Youth Music Band will be led by an officer from the police band and assisted by two other police officers. The Renew Program is voluntary and reformative. It was created specifically to cater to suspended students. The program will provide them with something productive to do while on suspension so that they do not engage in deviant behavior.
Business mentors will be needed for the students. If the students are not reformed at the end of the program, they will be enrolled in the Drill Core along with other activities. The officers will start the programs at Abaco Central High, S.C. Bootle, and Central Abaco Primary Schools. They will then branch out to other schools. It is her hope that each school will have their own drill core.