MP, senior cop commit to changing troubled Manchester community Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Following a series of murders which rocked the Manchester community of Greenvale this summer, the police and the local political representative have given their commitment to unify the community members and change the reputation of the area.

The declarations came following a peace walk through the community with the police, political representatives and residents on Thursday.

Restrictions were placed on entertainment events in Greenvale after the August 5 murders of 34-year-old Adrian Nation and Lloyd Levy at a party in the community. A man and a woman were also shot and injured in the incident.

While speaking during Thursday’s peace walk, head of the Manchester police, Superintendent Shane McCalla, said law enforcers continue to closely monitor the community.

He said the peace walk signified the work of the stakeholders in a bid to create change in the community.

“We have the same vision and we want the same end result… We want the unity,” McCalla told residents.

“So, as we move forward, you going to see us engaging you more in some more street meetings, where the police going to come in on the corner, and we just have a chat with the youths dem, ’cause we want to get (rid of) that little stigma weh people have outside the community,” the senior lawman continued.

“We want get rid a that (stigma),” he added.

McCalla emphasised that the only way the stigma can be removed from the community is if the police and citizens work together.

“So my commitment, as long as I am here, is that we going to be working together. We know we might have some bad days, right, but we know that together we can have better days,” he declared.

Added McCalla: “We want to see if we can move forward and relax some of the more hardened measures that we put in place recently, but we need your commitment to do that.”

For his part, Member of Parliament (MP) for North West Manchester, Mikael Phillips, in whose constituency Greenvale falls, said efforts to bring the community spirit back, such as social intervention activities, are crucial.

“For the members of the community who have walked with us, if you don’t believe in yourself, you can’t fix the problem, and what it has shown is that you also believe in yourself,” Phillips indicated.

He lauded residents, especially those who felt “somewhat intimidated” from participating in the peace walk.

“It shows that this tension that is taking place, in some instances, is manufactured, and I know you want to live as one community same way, and I as the political representative, want to see that happen,” Phillips declared.

“So, hence why we putting out that effort. This is not just a one-off (activity).

“There are other activities that we want to do to bring it (the community) back together,” he stated.

The parliamentarian announced his intention to have other activities in collaboration with the police, geared towards increasing the level of interaction with residents.

He also commended the Manchester top cop for his “open-door policy”, which involves listening to the complaints of the residents.

The parliamentarian also had glowing praise for the police’s efforts thus far.

“I know you are putting out every effort to ensure that normalcy remains in the community, and I want to commend you and thank you for that effort,” Phillips told McCalla.