Tue | Oct 24, 2017

The police need our help

Published:Friday | July 21, 2017 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

In the past year, my eyes have been opened to what is a glaring failure of our Government, business sector and our communities. It is only when you really see what dedicated members of our police force have to struggle with daily that you appreciate their efforts to serve and protect.

The other day, I was at a police station. It was near the end of a shift. Would you believe police personnel, after a long, tiring day of putting their lives on the line to protect us and respond to emergencies, had to go to the bus stop to take a bus home?

There is no dedicated bus to transport them in this time when they are threatened daily and exhausted after long shifts that usually continue way past stipulated hours.

At work, they barely have the gear needed to stand up to the fire power and aggressive attacks by perpetrators, but without complaining, they go out there every day.

BASIC RESOURCES LACKING

Writing reports and taking statements is a big part of police work. Sometimes they don't even have paper to do this. Can some corporate offices donate reams of paper periodically?

There is nothing in place for officers to relax after or before a shift. No gym, no games room, no exercise sessions, no massages, no hugs. There is no counselling, no debriefing after seeing things daily that would break anybody, but they have to suck it up and go on. There is nothing to help ease the stress they face everyday.

Their family lives gets hit constantly, as they are forced to work terrible hours. I won't even mention salaries and benefits. We all know about that. Do we even say thank you? No. We are, however, quick to complain and blame police for crime.

Can we help them? Can each community adopt a station and help with the basics to make life even fractionally better for police personnel? Can corporate Jamaica help with fundraising or donations for water coolers, exercise rooms, chairs? Can counsellors offer private sessions once a month?

Can we show them we care? Can we make their lives a little easier?

Cecille Bernard

cmseabee66@gmail.com