Pastor Bean: We Have A Multi-Pronged Approach

January 4, 2019

[Written by Patrick Bean]

Bermuda recorded three gun related murders in 2018, a similar figure to that registered the previous year, two less than in 2015, and a far cry from the seven lives surrendered at the muzzle of a gun during the high point back in 2010, with many of these killings having been described as gang related.

Much has been revealed by the Bermuda Police Service [BPS] and the Minister of National Security, Wayne Caines, has spoken out against the perpetrators of anti-social behaviour with disdain and the promise to be rooted out, while also encouraging the local populace to not allow the actions of a precious few to influence any curtailment of activities or force them into a defensive mode of living.

However, little is often said to the media by the man responsible for the facilitating the reduction of gangs and gang activity, Pastor Leroy Bean, Government’s Gang Reduction Coordinator.

However, he offered reason why he does not often speak publicly and/or in detail on each and every matter that may come to the fore, or disclose his every move and action, with the reasons relative to the need to maintain and reserve confidentiality. Men involved with anti-social behaviour such as gangs, violence, drug dealing and things of nefarious nature do not desire publicity, nor are they comfortable speaking covertly with a perceived blabber-mouth.

He noted how his work hinges greatly on the establishment of trust if he is able to establish any truce or change in activity for the betterment of the island’s at risk and fallen men and create inroads into the mindset that it be changed from what society terms as being negative to that more positive productivity.

Bernews met with Pastor Bean and what follows are the questions forwarded and answers received:

Why do you not speak publicly more often, considering the overt calls from segments of the populace for you to be more conspicuous toward the taxpayers that pay your salary?

Pastor Bean: “One of the things with why I don’t just go out and speak if something happens all of the time is because of the many things that we are busy doing within and outside of the department. I don’t ever want to seem disingenuous to the people I am called to serve, support and encourage, and I just don’t want to be saying things just for the sake of saying something.

“I could say many things and I’ve heard people make comments time after time after time. But the truth of the matter is that I’ve never seen any one of those at a scene when people are actually burdened by the loss of a loved one.

“I don’t see them in the schools. I don’t see them in the prisons. I don’t see them in the community trying to negotiate. So I don’t take on easily, if at all, with people who simply talk to be critical, yet have no solutions of their own to assist in the process.

“More than twenty years ago, I had the Crips and the Bloods under my organisation CARTEL. We brought them to Bermuda from California and had them in the schools and so on, engaging, giving of their experiences and encouraging our children away from the gang and anti-social lifestyle. And while it was bringing awareness, I found that I had to change tack because it was not really doing much beyond talk or of any real, tangible substance; it was almost like faith without works being dead – we were talking and communicating more, but the residual effect was minimal.

“Here we have a lot of people talking and making many comments and noise about the situation with violence and our young men. But I’m out there and can say this: at every scene that I’ve been to, I’ve never seen any of those that are sitting there talking.

“And I say that to say that it takes a collective responsibility of all groups, outlets, families and individuals searching for a more peaceful Bermuda. It’s important that people understand that we all have a part to play; the more that we start to attack each other as they attack me, what happens is that I now have to fight in a double battle, watching my back as well as the front because there’s all these darts being thrown against my back.

“This war that we’re in, this epidemic that we’re facing, is going to take every last, single group working working in relative tandem towards a common goal. We’re not always going to agree on the methodology, however I believe we are focused on a singular goal and can work beyond most any disagreement in methodology as long as the principal goal is in concert.

“I wish that Government had more money that we could just empower groups, but that’s out of my portfolio.

“I’ve been involved in interdiction and counselling for 22 years under a various and different set of people and I never received anything from Government. I do and have done this because it is my call. I’ve done it because I love Bermuda. I’ve done it regardless of what’s happening, when other people were getting funded and us not receiving anything, because the mission remains to help and support people.

“So the reality is that it’s something we have to do from our heart, not just because of money. And when we look at it from that standpoint, people can recognize what is being sincerely done and one’s good does not go unspoken.

“I’m looking to build a team in Bermuda, whether it is with those who have great wealth and resources, whether it crosses the political divide; again, it’s a collaborative effort taking place and more collaborators for the good and sustainable welfare of our communities and island as a whole is dependent on our collusion within the process.

“I’m believing that in 2019 we’ll have more groups that are fighting toward the same common denominator.”

2018 ended with a cache of guns and ammunition being seized and two men in close succession being shot. Can you reflect on the last year as far as gun violence is concerned, with a mind toward the recent shootings?

Pastor Bean: “Technically, just one shooting is one too much, so when I look at the shooting in general it’s something that grieves me, first of all because it’s young black men that are getting shot. The other thing is that the factors that we need to put in place to assist or redirect our younger men in a more positive direction are really not in place. Such as needed economic empowerment … jobs and aid that they might need to survive and progress as normal citizens.

“When we look at Bermuda, within itself it seems to be somewhat one sided. And what I mean by that, is that many of our young black people, I find, do not get the same opportunities as those on the other side.

“I’m not one that customarily points that out, but when you look at the facts they’re clear and plain before us that it’s very one-sided. The average black man that comes from a single home, the average black man that has found himself with challenges, whether academically or otherwise, tries to find other solutions to survive and some of these we have deemed anti-social and detrimental to society, but we have to offer and present viable, attainable alternatives. That is what we are doing and striving to do more of.”

How are you and your team addressing the circumstance and mindset of some that are engaged in anti-social behaviour?

Pastor Bean: “As I’ve mentioned, one thing that we are doing is trying to actually create jobs for people and where we’re not creating jobs, we’re liaising with people that may be open to giving the opportunity to young men, whether it be that they wish to be entrepreneurs themselves or try something that they find more suitable to their circumstance.

“I believe we’re doing the best that we can by liaising with people to make sure that we can create job opportunities for our young black men. I believe that to be a key factor, to make sure that we create opportunities and liaison with people who will use our young men with understanding of the benefit to the Bermuda set as a whole.

“Redemption Farm is one of the avenues we are looking at, and we are also making contact with other people to see who would be open to giving the opportunity. As far as the cognitive aid that we provide, we do so in conjunction with other agencies and services, we try to find as much as we possibly can to address what may be a cognitive challenge or whether it be something that they’re facing in some way that may be a detriment to them. We look at organisations to refer the men to for assistance and where we can directly help we help, but we definitely try to create the opportunities.

“However, we must keep in mind that while we are in liaison with certain people and have MOUs [Memorandum Of Understanding] with certain people, these all revolve around whether the individual truly wants to do better and occupy and execute a more positive overall mindset. Each person must want to be helped and to embrace their need for assistance. However, if not, at least we have built the necessary relationships that if one wants it that it’s available to them.”

Are you having an impact in terms of gang reduction as is your purview?

Pastor Bean: “I believe we’re making a dent and are acting effectively; we have a multi-pronged approach which is key.

“We’re in the schools, the elementary schools. We’re into the alternative schools where we do group sessions. We’re in the high schools where we’re doing the restorative justice circles which are necessary to bring relationship, that they can see in each other that they have common goals and common bonds.

“We’re doing these things every day in schools, when schools are out, we’re working with those that might find themselves prone to this type of behaviour. So we’re working n the schools, which will cause a reduction as far as the next generation, if you educate a generation and you bring them to a place that is more positive, you break the recidivism as far as it going to another generation.

“At the same time we’re in the prisons trying to assist them in the best way we can considering the prison situation. Those are very important and play a key role in trying to help and pour back into the community and sometimes they have been the culprits in seeing a lot of this [violence] arise.

“We also try to deal with those that are in the communities and homes and families to provide aid, but also to create hope in the young man to let him know that we want to facilitate him to a positive and productive place.”

You are an unabashed Christian follower and pastor. How do you address a street population that may not conform to you particular brand of religion?

Pastor Bean: “Well, let me say that I don’t go out in the streets as a pastor. Now, I am a pastor – and it is my lifestyle and way of life – but when we go out it is as a humanitarian service, providing support for those communities, families and individuals; it’s with the recognition that each may have differing religious backgrounds and belief systems.

“We want them to know we’re here to aid, to support and to try to strengthen during the time which they consider a low and it’s not about me waving a Bible and preaching down from a pulpit.

“There is a human existence we are a part of and a level of humanity; we all must project toward the harmonious living of us all.”

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Comments (35)

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  1. dondererd says:

    “I wish that Government had more money that we could just empower groups, but that’s out of my portfolio.”

    This is a really important issue – we have a mountain of a debt that continues to grow and suck money out of the country ($500,000 a day).
    That means there is less to spend on social issues, so the less we spend, the less we can counteract the gangs and provide the best solution: meaningful employment.
    That debt is a major millstone and one that we won’t be rid of for generations (if at all). It is a viscous, possibly downward, spiral and fintech won’t rescue us.

  2. 2 Bermudas says:

    This guy is a joke. Wayne Caines appointed him and cancelled the GREAT initiative Jeff Baron had set up. Wayne Caines and Pastor Bean have failed us. Who is going to be held accountable??!!

    • JUST SAYING says:

      Actually the G.R.E.A.T is still up and running in all public primary and middle schools. Educate yourself before speaking about things you CLEARLY have no clue about!! #Justsayin

      • 2 Bermudas says:

        Correct, I meant to say he cancelled the Operation Ceasefire program. Is Pastor Bean better??? I don’t think so.

    • Bottoms Up says:

      Pastor Bean says……it’s with the recognition that each may have differing religious backgrounds and belief systems.
      “We want them to know we’re here to aid, to support and to try to strengthen during the time which they consider a low and it’s not about me waving a Bible and preaching down from a pulpit.
      “There is a human existence we are a part of and a level of humanity; we all must project toward the harmonious living of us all.”

      Why is it that he can’t use the same thought process when it comes to the LGBT community. It appears that he cares more about the gang bangers that love to kill, hurt and hate each other then he does about people that just want to live and love in peace.

    • Acegurl says:

      So right!

  3. WSP says:

    Go paint another wall for $92,000 a year.

  4. Let me first say, that I hardheartedly agree with some of what Pastor Bean is saying here, and I definitely agree with Dr. Gina Spence comments, but I will say as I have always stated, that Bermuda has a very soft approach to the gang related issue, based on the fact that we continually deal with the matter from the bottom end up, instead of the top going down.

    Without disclosing my entire thought pattern, I will say that many are ready to criticize those who come forward to offer solutions, but these same cowards don’t do a darn thing to help the situation themselves and I am talking directly to those who would reply to this posting negatively, and don’t have a clue, because they have never walked were others have trod.

    I have an entire family history of nightmares, and I have said it time without number, you have to get those who once were involved with the street life, and have turned their life around to be your mediators.

    The most crucial lesson to learn for the National Security Minister and the new Police Commissioner, is something that Mr. Bean should already be aware of and many others among us are very certain of, the drug trade in Bermuda is all about supply and demand, and this created a serious conflict with the old guard, but among the young crowd of today, you are dealing with a much more dangerous crew.

    The most dangerous part of the equation, is the fact that we continually look at the gangs out among us, and think they are the real issue and as ruthless as we may portray them, we have a more dangerous crowd, “The Untouchables”.

    Is this a fairy tale or just my trying to hype up a situation, well I suggest that this Government take the Gag order off of Mr. Colin Coxall, one of our former Police Commissioners, and remind Bermuda, that it was after Mr. Coxall went public and stated he was after “Mr. Big”, that it was not long after that his contract was cut short, and he was given a hefty package to up and leave Bermuda, by the then United Bermuda Party Government.

    So let’s start to loo there and see what good old Colin stumbled onto, and why is that, because he we never let it get out of hand, back then, maybe it would not be as serious of an issue now, because you can do a clean sweep any day of the week, and rid Bermuda of every gang Member,but each and everyone of them are replaceable before night fall, and that is a fact.

    Without calling names, many retired officers of the Police force, not the so called Police service, would agree, that the statistics into what we face in this country are very alarming, but the greatest challenge, is not what and who is out in our streets, but it is those who run the drug trade from behind close doors, and their offices and the comfort of their luxury homes, while all the while being personalities among us, and yes the majority are not black as you suppose.

    In closing, many can say I am talking rubbish, but you tell that to a business man who invest on Wall Street, and takes losses, but tries his hands at the drug trade, with mature black males and Females as his middle man, and the young black males and females, as their street sheep, they know Wall Street is a gamble, but the drug industry is very lucrative and a definite return with higher profit.

    Yes I believe that Mr. Coxall was the only Police Commissioner that would ever be bold to say the things he did, and tackle the issue from the top, you want to slow down the issues on the ground and the streets, start at the Penthouse.

    Food for thought, young blacks in the trade, take the risk, of bringing in ounces of drugs at a time, but the other communities bring it in by the Kilo’s and by the boat load, but how many times do you hear of any vessels’ being seized because of drug trafficking, once in a blue moon and it has been a damn long time since the moon turned blue.

    Were there is smoke there is fire, so gang activity, is connected to drug activity, and is connected to gun importation, and thus, you have supply and demand, and unfortunately, this is nothing new and has been going on since the 70′s, but has only become more serious, as supply and demand has made it so.

    Bermuda won’t tackle this one to the core, to many families are surviving because of it and to many are now living a form of comfort because of what it had done for them back in the day, but it is the same game, just different players, more ruthless then before.

    Minister Bean, Minster Caines, and the police Commissioner have a serious task on their hands, and no, I do not think the Government run the Country, because if they really had the power, we can bring legislative changes in no time, that will shake up the money changers.

    Don’t bother yourself with what I have said, you should be more concern of what I have not said, and the bottom line is we need prevented measures to reach our school age children, to hopefully avoid them from going down the slippery slope of corruption.

    The Police Commissioner along with others want answers, I say look closer to home in your own camp, and try talking to some of your long retired officers, and some that are still there in top brass, and they will agree that I am not talking just to talk, and those among you who disagree, I would watch them even closer.

    The streets are just the fall out of corruption in higher ranking places.

    • Channa says:

      All I can say is you nailed it…..may God have mercy on us.

    • Dare says:

      Well stated with two major extractions.Gina is no more a doctor than Leroy is a Pastor. Both have elevated themselves to a level of incompetence and a Joe Public has bought into the hype. So how about today I grant you an honor you with a honorary doctorate (in the absence of a high school diplomas) and pastorship from the university and church of “What’s Happening Now” and you go out there claim your fame. In fact I may grant myself the same an join you too.

      Both have claim their self accolades and neither are qualified to fix the problem, independent or together.

      Therein lies part of the problem.

  5. question says:

    Very good questions were posed by Bernews. However Pastor Bean can’t list one single specific thing that he has actually done.

    • JUST SAYING says:

      I find it interesting that after countless press releases, interviews on Lets Talk, House of Assembly statements posted on bernews people still say that he cant list one things that’s being done.

      • Trufth says:

        Can you name one thing he’s done?

        • Somuchless says:

          Yes paint a wall. Well two. Drive up and down in the Caines’ GP car smh

      • Question says:

        So you’re saying he has done a few interviews.
        BFD. Talking. The PLP specialty.
        What has he done, specifically, to stop gang criminality? Specifically?

  6. puzzled says:

    This guy is good.

    What a waste.

  7. Rockfish#1 says:

    “Pastor” is simply singing for his supper,at taxpayer expense.

  8. aceboy says:

    Until there is a serious approach to this issue and not an excuse to provide a nice income to a “pastor” the killings will continue.

    Here’s an idea! Take away the gang’s most profitable business….the sale of weed. Make it legal and tax the cr@p out of it. It will still be significantly cheaper than its current street value. Make it a completely Bermudian business. This will help locals in many ways, including a huge influx of tourists.

    This pastor will not help things.

  9. eyes wide open says:

    snake oil salesman,not to be trusted with anything he says!

  10. Kimberley Smith says:

    Since the Pastor’s approach includes not speaking often, where can we find the annual reports he prepares for the Government in respect of the goals and objectives set and results achieved or not achieved?

  11. Woke says:

    Pastor Bean thank you for your hard work and service. On a daily basis you are building on that trust relationship with the different factions so I say thank you for putting yourself out there to aid in any manner that you possibly can. For those who dare to help I also say thank you.

    Whilst most of us are at home comfortable and asleep Minister Caines, Pastor Bean and the team are hard at work helping and supporting people who are intimately affected by such anti-social behavior. I believe it’s only so much that they and the helping agencies can do.

    For those of you who are caught up in anti-social behaviour for whatever reason, start believing that you can change the situation you find yourself in. Remember change comes from transforming your mind. Believe that you can change your outlook. Ultimately your beliefs control your behaviors. The manner in which you think determines the way you feel and when those feelings become very strong it determines how you ultimately will act.

    Please know that all of your lives matter. One more life lost to gun violence is too much in a small community as ours. When you wake up each day decide I want to live not just for myself, not for a particular turf and territory but for my son, daughter, family and community. Let’s put violence aside and really talk about what’s on your heart because hurting, killing, maiming another brother is all too much. You have the power within to change. Being unable to travel 21 square miles on this island is not living its imprisonment.

    Dr Gina Spence the government nor the police can stump out this issue on their own. The community must by in. Should you have a real tangible plan kindly share it.

    For those who can give a young man a chance by giving him a job please do so. These young men need someone to just believe in them.

    • Really says:

      That group of Dr’s….lol..and pastors should be ashamed of theirselves…taking the peoples money like they do..

  12. Truth is killin' me... says:

    So you don’t see Gina Spence out there Pastor Bean!?

  13. Um Um Like says:

    Multi-pronged approach:

    1.) Thoughts
    2.) Prayers

    Keep up the good…. Oh wait, nevermind.

  14. Trump supporter says:

    You mean the farms not working..
    Got justify pay checks some how.

  15. I wish he would go away. He has not done anything about the gangs nor will he accomplish anything. But we keep paying him with money that could be used in a lot of other ways. Carry on shouting about the NON accomplishments you have made.

  16. Trufth says:

    If I had a son:

    Don’t you dare roll up on my front porch when my son has been murdered! You’ve got some balls offering me “comfort” AFTER it has happened. You, my Pastor friend, are THE LAST person I want coming onto my porch when I am mourning the loss of a son! You are being paid to stop this! You accepted this job thinking you could do it, so GO DO IT!!

    Every time a murder happens, you outta be thinking “oopsie, I am FAILING at my job” NOT “oh, I better go do some comforting” BTW: comforting is done by friends, family and unpaid clergy. Got it?

  17. Y-Gurl says:

    Complete and utter waste of time, being a pastor does not qualify you as a gang and violence expert, more of the friends and family program?

    • Really says:

      Someone needs to wake these dreamers up…living a life of privilege and never been without or going hungry or father/motherless life and now showboating on how to fix a problem that they have no idea what its about. This was set up by a system previous to keep a certain race divided. Drugs on every corner. Just doesnt happen. The small guy has drugs evetyday!!..really…they keep fuel on the fire fore years..THINK..

    • Really says:

      I agree..utter waste of time..stupidity at its best when you read this pastor…has no problem taking the peoples money for this job..

  18. Ain’t Happening says:

    Bean should have his chance. If there is any incremental improvement in gang related crime he will have more than earned his keep. If lives can be saved he’s worth his weight in gold. It’s suggested above by another poster that the so-called Mr. Big is known to at least some people. If that is true then there is the expectation that the individual(s) can be pursued without remit until it simply becomes impossible for them to remain here. Let the sun shine in. Use Scotland Yard. Let the BPS do a deep background briefing off the record. Everyone will then know the mane(s) in a matter of weeks, given the grapevine.

  19. Devon says:

    All they require him to do is put a blog in the news every quarter and a photo op at holidays for feel good factor like taking offf graffiti that should be public works job .

  20. Goldie Locks says:

    In the words of a great leader MLK i have a plan

  21. Dare says:

    Ha Ha Ha

  22. Dare says: