Marianas Variety, Tuesday, December 26, 2006
More than 300 students join Crime Prevention Jamboree
By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa
Variety News Staff
MORE than 300 students from private and public schools participated in the first ever Department of Public Safety Crime Prevention Jamboree on Friday at American Memorial Park.
Students from Kagman High School, Marianas High School, Saipan Southern High School, Hopwood Jr. High School, Koblerville Elementary School and Dandan Elementary School gathered at the park for a Christmas treat organized by DPS in partnership with the business sector.
The event started at 3:30 p.m. with a sky diving exhibition performed by Police Director Pete Leon Guerrero and Police Sgt. Jack Salas.
The sky divers jumped from a plane 10,000 feet in the air and landed at the Ada Gym track and field area.
This was followed by a parade of various law enforcement vehicles and schools from the gym to American Memorial Park.
Acting Gov. Timothy P. Villagomez, Acting DPS Commissioner Tomas Manglona and Rep. Cinta M. Kaipat, Covenant-Saipan, were the guest speakers at the event.
Dandan Elementary School principal Jonas Barcinas, who is also head of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, and Crime Prevention Officer-In-Charge Police Officer Tricia M. Seman also spoke.
Miss Teen CNMI Myana Welch and Little Marianas Opal Northen urged the youth and children to stay away from drugs and violence.
The highlight of the event was the drill and ceremony competition of the Law Enforcement Explorer Program in which students from Kagman High School, Saipan Southern High School and Marianas High School participated.
Kagman bagged first place, MHS placed second and Saipan Southern High won third place.
The judges were Myana Welch and Beautify CNMI volunteer Angelo Villagomez.
The winners received trophies donated by SaipanCell and assorted gifts from the business sector.
Students from Koblerville, Saipan Southern High School and Hopwood presented dance performances.
The Taga Cultural Dancers from Tinian and other groups also performed during the event.
The participating students were accompanied by their parents and teachers.
Traffic Officer Sgt. Andrew Taimanao was Santa Claus and handed out candy presents to the children with the assistance of Welch and Northen.
Seman said she was pleased with the turnout for the event.
“We hope we can do it yearly. I’d like to thank everyone who helped in making this possible and successful — the sponsors, the parents, students, schools and the community for helping us out, and of course the Criminal Justice Program for funding this event,” Seman said.
The DPS Crime Prevention Programs consist of three programs for youth — the Law Enforcement Explorer Program for high school students, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program for the elementary level, and the Junior Police Officer Program for the elementary and middle school levels.
Each program offers lessons on decision-making, the importance of respect and helping others, volunteerism and staying away from drugs and gang violence.
DPS Fire Director and acting Commissioner Tomas Manglona said the program also aims to prepare the students for a career in law enforcement.
“They are our future so it’s important that these kids are protected and guided properly,” Manglona said.