The management of the Half-Way-Tree Transport Centre and the police say since the Sunday Observer exposé about the untoward behaviour of high school students inside the centre two weeks ago, the students have shown a slight improvement in their conduct.
The Sunday Observer visited the centre on Friday afternoon, the day when the students wreak the most havoc on the lower level of the centre, and students were seen lining up to take buses. In addition, the usually thick crowd of rowdy students was noticeably absent.
"Well, I can say that there has been a slight improvement. I went and looked downstairs and I could see the floor. There have been no incidents today. We have more police patrolling the park," Linval Thompson, who manages the centre on behalf of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), said.
The police corroborated Thompson's claim.
"We have not been having too much trouble today. Things have been kind of quiet, thankfully," a cop inside the security post in the centre told the Sunday Observer.
However, as soon as the cop made the statement three of his colleagues escorted a male student with a bleached-out face into the post.
The student, who sported a vexed look as one cop held him by the waist of his pants, was found with a switchblade and was apparently arguing with the cops when they apprehended him.
"Look what this boy have and a tell we bout a game we playing with him," one cop said as he displayed the switchblade.
The boy, his face contorted, looked the cop up and down in defiance.
His parents were subsequently called in by the police, who only lock up students as a last resort.
Thompson said the students may have been heeding the advice of JUTC staff who have increased the use of an intercom system in the park to encourage them to board the buses in a timely manner and avoid loitering in the park.
Last week, after a meeting with stakeholders of the transport centre, Police Commissioner Owen Ellington said the police would be zoning in on the centre and taking still photographs and video footage of the students with an intention of sending the images to schools and parent/teachers' associations.
He also offered to appoint some of the JUTC inspectors at the centre district constables with limited powers.
The suggestion was welcomed by Thompson, who had only one reservation.
"We would need more manpower, but my only concern is that they would have to be trained first," Thompson said.
This Friday, officials from the ministries of education, security and culture are planning to visit the centre and show a film on safe schools, Thompson said.
He said a follow-up meeting with the police high command was also scheduled for this week.
Since the Sunday Observer exposé, Thompson has been visiting schools and addressing students about proper decorum inside the bus park.
He is set to address students at Meadowbrook, Ardenne and Kingston high schools this week.