PYC Movement Celebrates Milestone


The Police Youth Club (PYC) movement celebrated its 50th anniversary with a church service on Sunday, May 9, at the Fletchers Grove Baptist Church, in Sandy Bay, Hanover.
The service was held in Sandy Bay, the place where the first police youth club was formed in the island.
Members of the club from across the island along with several rank and file police personnel, as well as representatives from the Ministry of National Security; Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture, the political directorate in Hanover, and Custos Rotolorum of the parish, Mavis Whitter-King attended the event.
Giving an historical overview of the movement, National Coordinator for the PYC, Sergeant B. Richards, pointed out that the movement started in 1954 and had grown from the first club in Sandy Bay to 20 clubs across the island in that same year. It subsequently increased to 210 clubs with over 7,000 members today.
“Our greatest challenge over the years, is getting our own, particularly Sub-Officers in charge of police stations, to accept that the involvement of the police as leaders of our clubs is a vocational act, and not a recreational exercise. Hence, greater effort should be made in ensuring that all our clubs are assigned leaders, and are given the necessary time to service these clubs,” he said.
He emphasised that the movement had been a catalyst for social harmony within the JCF, adding that it would continue to inculcate in the minds of the young a passion for greater self-esteem and self-actualisation.
Senior Superintendent in charge of Community Relations, Leon B. Rose, in his remarks, said that the PYC was an important and integral part of the police community relations portfolio. He said that the movement had been instrumental in developing programmes to meet the needs of youth across Jamaica.
Explaining that the 50th anniversary celebrations would involve a number of events throughout the rest of the year, Senior Supt. Rose emphasised that the celebrations were intended to bring the public’s attention to the value of the PYC movement, and to highlight its contribution to the development of the nation’s youth.
“Specifically, these celebrations are intended to focus on the past 50 years of the movement, in order to facilitate reflection, and evaluation of the present, and to re-energise and plan for the future.
In moving forward, it has already been identified, that the movement must focus on education, training and development, sports, and of significant importance to us, entrepreneurship,” he said.
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Senator Kern Spencer, praised the PYC movement as one that was meeting the needs and building competences among the youth of the nation.
“To become successful adults in nation building, young people need a sense of safety and security, belonging and membership, self-worth, status and an ability to contribute; independence, autonomy, competence and mastery. The Police Youth Club offers these essentials,” he said.
He informed that the government had in place several programmes that promoted youth empowerment, so as to encourage young people to actively shape their own development through their choices and perceptions. “At its most basic, youth empowerment means purposely seeking to meet youth needs and build youth competencies relevant to enabling youth to become successful adults,” he said.
The Parliamentary Secretary noted that even in the face of limited family and community support, all young people should seek ways to meet their basic needs and gain the competencies and skills necessary to move from adolescence to adulthood.

JIS Social