Thank you Minister Dames.
For our nation to become even safer, communities must play an active and coordinated role in crime prevention and community development.
In our 2017 Manifesto, we promised that we would establish a National Neighborhood Watch Council (NNWC).
Such a Council is designed to oversee and to promote neighborhood watch and community activities.
On April 30, 2018, I officially launched the NNWC at Police Headquarters with community leaders who were excited to get to work.
Since then, the number of neighborhood watch groups has grown significantly from 11 in 2018 to well over 100 in 2020.
This includes new groups on Grand Bahama, Abaco and Eleuthera.
Working in partnership with members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, the NNWC continues to strengthen the relationship between the police and the community.
Within the Council, members focus on personal safety and property protection.
They also stay ahead of emerging crime trends and are committed to community engagement, and the promotion of enhanced quality of life and social well-being.
The work and accomplishments by this movement has been recognized by the international community.
Last month, the International Association of Chiefs of Police awarded the Royal Bahamas Police Force with the prestigious Leadership in Community Policing award for 2020 for its work with the NNWC.
They deserve a round of applause.
I also commend Minister of National Security the Hon. Marvin Dames. The NNWC is his brainchild.
Through his leadership he has placed the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the NNWC on the global stage as a model of community policing.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Through their dedication to building safer communities, President Shelly Lewis and her team of organizers are helping to make a difference in our quality of life.
I thank them for their tremendous contributions.
The ‘We Are One’ campaign and its various events, provide citizens and residents with opportunities to participate in activities that strengthen their communities.
The spirit of we is essential for national development.
As citizens, we have a personal and collective responsibility for the common good.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, I have continued to emphasize that the fight against the virus cannot and is not the work of the Government alone.
We will only make progress if we adhere to public health guidelines and look out for one another.
I have stressed that we were in the fight together against this deadly virus.
The same is true for our fight against crime as we work top foster more nonviolent communities.
Such a spirit of we and of the common good, is rooted in our religious faiths and in our constitution.
The Preamble to our constitution reminds us that: the preservation of freedom, “will be guaranteed by a national commitment to Self-discipline, Industry, Loyalty [and] Unity.”
Just as we are committed to beating COVID-19 and reclaiming our future, we will do everything in our power to restore jobs, livelihoods and communities.
I encourage our young people and all Bahamians not to be caught up in spirit of negativity, but instead to become a part of communities of hope.
In this spirit, I want to encourage as many people as possible to become involved in these wonderful community building and inspiring events over the next few weeks.
Be sure to do so while adhering to all of the health and safety protocols.
I thank the ‘We Are One’ campaign coordinators and their teams for their dedicated and hard work in creating this initiative and in fostering hope and the spirit of we.
God Bless each of you and may God continue to bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.