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MANDEVILLE — The Longville Park community in Clarendon, supported by more than 10 churches in the area, staged a special worship service for the security forces, at the Longville Park Baptist Church on January 30.

Major Ezra Bignall of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) told the gathering that much of the security forces’ work would be lighter, if citizens unite against wrong doing. “Look out for your neighbours, be their watchmen and expose the wrong doers, because they are in the minority. We should not allow the few to hold us as hostage in our own homes,” Major Bignall said.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Derrick Cochrane, while stressing the importance of the police and citizens working together to reduce crime, said that a high crime rate stifles economic development.

“Crime and its effects are developmental issues, and the development of our country is dependent on how we treat with the crime situation nationally. The high crime environment frightens off investments, it haemorrhages scarce resources and, in a general way stifles the economic development and social well-being of our country.  It cannot be over-stressed and over-emphasised that this enabling low crime environment is dependent on you the citizens working together with the police through your different community organisations,” the ACP said.

For his part, Head of the Mineral Heights Circuit of Baptist Churches, Dr. Learoy Johnson, said dons have no place in a properly organised community. “I believe that when dons take over our communities and run them, it is because law abiding citizens have lost their obligation for service. Keep the citizens’ association alive and active, then there will be no place for dons, because the leadership of the citizens of Longville Park remains vibrant. This will hold the community together, and that sense of obligation to hold the community together will keep out evil from the community,” Dr. Johnson said.

In her remarks, Managing Director of the National Housing Trust (NHT), Cecile Watson, lauded members of Longville Park for their progressive community-led activities that serve to build and promote the right behaviour for effective community living. “As a result of the civic pride that you are steadfastly building here, your community is now considered a place of choice to live,” Mrs. Watson said.

Meanwhile, President of the Longville Park Citizens’ Association, Baldwin McKenzie, urged the citizens to attach themselves to an organisation and work for the community’s progress.

“Those in the church can provide counselling to those who need it. We have a number of youngsters who need mentoring. We have about 20 different organisations in Longville Park, so you can give service in one of them,” she said.

 

By GARFIELD L.ANGUS, JIS Reporter