(jamaica-gleaner) Last Friday residents of the St Andrew community of August Town, Jamaica, celebrated a year without any murders.
In a year when more than 1,350 persons were killed across the island, an 11 percent increase over 2015, August Town leaders were beaming that the once volatile and deadly inner-city community added nothing to this count.
“There was once a time; nobody would come to August Town because of the crime and violence we had here. At one time, every time August Town made the news, it was for something bad, such as a shooting. I feel so proud that today, August Town is in the news for positive things,” said Charmaine, as she beamed with pride.
“Gun used to bark in August Town, but right now, it’s just love and peace … nothing but that, and we love that,” added Charmaine.
The residents gathered in Bryce Hill Square Friday evening to celebrate what they deem a significant milestone.
Member of Parliament for the area Fayval Williams heaped praises on the Sizzla Youth Foundation, the Peace Management Initiative, the police and the University of the West Indies (UWI), who she described as the key peace builders who worked to ensure that the community remained murder free last year.
“It was the relentless work of the ‘peace builders.’ It was the many meetings with groups to help settle their differences before it gets to boiling point. It was the work of the Sizzla Youth Foundation. It was the university, the churches and the work of the Jamaica Constabulary Force that made it happened,” said Williams.
“Tonight is a good night for the August Town community and a good night for Jamaica,” Williams added, as she saluted community stalwart Kenneth Wilson, one of the peace builders who has worked tirelessly to lifted August Town from the doldrums.