Make community policing your hallmark, Mr Quallo
THE EDITOR, Sir:
This is an open letter to the commissioner of police, George Quallo.
The neighbourhood watch programme should be re-established or reinforced throughout the five geographic areas of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), which are further broken down into 19 divisions.
Part of the problem we have with crime and violence in this country is that we have demonised the giving of information to the police, coupled with the fact that the police, in some instances, do not know how to treat confidentially with information they receive. That has to change for us to fight crime effectively.
When we check our counterparts in North America and other jurisdictions around the world, the tip lines are what help the police to do their jobs and have successful arrests and conviction rates.
Coming out of the neighbourhood watch programme, the JCF can also look into establishing what I call the Citizens on Patrol (COP) initiative. Self-explanatory, perhaps, but it's an initiative where the very citizenry becomes involved in non-combative, non-confrontational community policing.
I want to make a special lobby for the Police Youth Club Movement of Jamaica. Turn young members into district constables or establish a School Resource Officer Corps (SROC). This way, the JCF will not be stretched to provide security and safety in our nation's troubled schools and can focus its attention on crime.
Commissioner, you must seek to bolster the operations of the Community Safety and Security Branch of the JCF so that it can undertake these initiatives.
I wish for you a very successful tenure, Commissioner Quallo!
KEMAR A. BROWN