COMMANDER of ‘D’ Division Stephen Mansell on Tuesday afternoon met with more than 40 youths of Vergenoegen, East Bank Essequibo, in an effort to foster better relations between the police and villagers.The meeting was arranged by Cops and Faith Network Pastor, George Orville-Stuart, who encouraged the youths to accept the lifeskills training programmes being offered by the police, free of cost.
Stuart told the gathering that even though it rained heavily, the good turnout was an indication that they wanted to get involved in the educational activities spearheaded by the police in that region.
The youths, who are already part of the village’s sports club, thanked the police for bringing the initiative to them.
Some of them took the time to collect the various forms which were handed out for courses at the Leonora Technical and Vocational Institute, cookery classes at Medina Restaurant and computer training at the Commissioner of Police Seelall Persaud Computer Training Centre at the Leonora Police Station.
After a friendly chat with Commander Stephen Mansell and a team of ranks who visited the Vergenoegen Community Centre, the youths indicated their need for sports gear.
Mansell has since promised the youths to assist in that regard.
The senior officer spoke of the various courses offered by the police in that division, which targets youths from age 16 who are school drop-outs and unemployed.
He talked about the educational and sports programmes, which they have at Bagotville and Leonora and from which scores of youths have since benefited.
Mansell told the group on Tuesday that 180 youths are on course to complete the one-year training programme at the Leonora Technical and Vocational Institute and will graduate in September.
The senior superintendent said that the police want to equip youths with lifeskills, so they may be gainfully employed and contribute to society, as part of their social crime-prevention programme.
He urged them to get enrolled in the motor mechanic, mechanical engineering, information technology, masonry and welding and plumbing courses, which will qualify them for careers.
Mansell asked the youths to reach out to the police, since they are there to help them, rather than for them to “lime” at street corners and idle, instead of getting involved in meaningful activities.
The youths were involved in a friendly game of cricket and football on Tuesday after the meeting.