Members of the Service’s Black Internal Support Network (BISN) and colleagues from York Regional Police Service joined Winnipeg’s Police Chief Devon Clunis in Jamaica recently for a one-week humanitarian trip.
With assistance from the Jamaican consulate in Toronto, Jessie Ripoll Primary School was selected for the project from a list of schools in designated priority neighbourhoods.
Opened in 1979, the school has an enrolment of 960 students.
The officers helped refurbish and paint the school’s library which was stocked with nearly 2,500 books donated by Rubicon Publishing.
The books were packaged at TPS and shipped to Jamaica.
“We also had other donors for paint, plants and school supplies and the Carpenter’s Union donated basketballs and working shirts for the members,” said TPS member Melva Radway. “York Region donated an air conditioning unit to the school… This was a very enriching experience for the officers.”
Travelling members paid their airfares while money used from various fundraising endeavours, including a jerk lunch during Black History Month and personal donations were used to buy meals and pay for transportation while in Jamaica.
Retired TPS Superintendent Dave McLeod, who is a member of the Jamaica Independent Commission of Investigations, provided local assistance for the group in Jamaica.
In addition to Clarke and Radway, the other travelling TPS members were Inspector Sonia Thomas, Staff Sergeant Ron Boyce, Sergeant Bonnie Estwick, Constables Brian Sutherland and Robert Edwards and crime analyst Shauna Bent.