The 11-week training programme was aimed at exposing students to discipline, instilling positivity and encouraging behavioral changes in their lives.
The pilot project included seven young men from the Verchilds High School, who started the programme in September of 2014.
According to 15-year-old Jokeem Abbott and Shavaughn Wilson, 16, the three-months training programme was a “good experience”.
Principal Mary Clarke of the Verchilds High School said she wholeheartedly embraced the TAPS programme, while noting that she was proud to collaborate with the Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force (RSCNPF) on the initiative.
“Intervention in the form of prevention that the TAPS programme offers is embraced wholeheartedly,” she said.
The principal continued, “The school, with the involvement of the Guiding and Counselling Department, was more than willing to facilitate this programme.
Meanwhile, instructor Constable Mark Handley noted that he and Constable Andrea Battice are committed to the programme and were proud to see the young men graduate.
“This milestone does not stop here. We at the TAPS would continue assisting all of you and those who want to get into the programme in the future,” Handley promised.
TAPS Director Superintendent Rosemarie Isles-Roberts said that she was proud to “lead a group of enthusiastic police officers” who provided “positive alternatives from a hands-on perspective. This is the first of many graduations that would include all of the high schools on St. Kitts and Nevis”.
Superintendent Isles-Roberts encouraged the participants to continue moving forward in life in a positive manner. “Never, ever give up, and never turn back,” she urged.
Abbott and Wilson were joined by Latrell Richardson, Douval Clarke, T’Shawn Grant and Marlos Gumbs in completing the course.
In a recent interview with MiyVue.com, Deputy Commissioner of Police Stafford Liburd had indicated that programmes such as TAPS led to a drastic drop in crime for 2014.
The TAPS programme was designed for at-risk youth and for police officers to be mentors. The course covers various topics, including conflict resolution, gang membership, bullying, team building, alcohol and drugs.