EDITOR, The Tribune.
For two hundred years the settlement of Hope Town on Elbow Cay, Abaco, was a sleepy little fishing village with very little crime. In the 1990’s when the internet put the island on the map, the economic growth that followed, led to more and more crime. A tipping point came in 2018 when Hope Town experienced its first armed robbery http://www.tribune242.com/news/2018/may/22/holiday-weekend-blighted-by-series-of-armed/robberies.
In August, 2020 a volatile mix of transient construction workers, illegal migrants and locals suffering the various effects of Hurricane Dorian exploded into a clash which led to vandalism of a second home owners residence, breaking of a person’s bone and reputed discharge of firearms this situation pushed community leaders and the local government officials of the Hope Town District Council to request that two police officers be stationed on Elbow Cay. In a welcoming ceremony on September 1, 2020 at the Hope Town clinic, Assistant Commissioner of Police Ashton Greenslade presented two officers that he had hand-picked stating that, “Sargent Nelson Botin and Corporal Peaco Knowles were good officers and will see to getting the job done!”
And we are happy to report that ten months later with the assistance of Constable Trez McPhee these officers have truly gotten the job done! Two operations of note: in January of 2021 an illegal male Haitian national along with four females were apprehended and for illegal activities pertaining to the selling of numbers from a car and prostitution. The male was deported to Haiti. In December of 2020, officers arrested a local Bahamian male after they allegedly found a silver and black 9MM pistol with a magazine containing eight rounds of ammunition in the waist of his pants.
In May of 2021, justice was served when Magistrate Ancella Evans of the Marsh Harbour District Court sentenced this young man to serve two years in Fox Hill prison. Speaking on behalf of the entire community, I wish to thank the officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force and all those in the Magistrate’s Court who by their actions have sent a very strong message, law and order has been established on Elbow Cay! I also want to encourage all Bahamians that if you want crime out of your community, our story reveals that you too, can make it happen!! All we had to do was reach out to the Royal Bahamas Police Force and be willing to work with them.
We have discovered that the police cannot be successful unless the community provides them with information and we cannot have law and order without the police. Sometimes this means giving the police information about people we love who have gone down the wrong path, but if we do not, the result could be disastrous.
For example, the young man who was charged for illegal possession of a pistol and live rounds of ammunition, he is in prison now for two years, but had he shot someone he might be in prison for life. Instead, he has an opportunity now, to turn his life around, if he comes back to this community with a humble heart and desire to turn his life around, most of us will forgive him and he has the opportunity for a very good life. It will be his choice.
May God continue to bless our Beautiful Bahamas,
Deborah “DP” Patterson, a proud 8th generation Bahamian.
DEBORAH “DP” PATTERSON
June 15, 2021.