Sat | Dec 16, 2017

Montague rewarding police sabotage

Published:Friday | September 8, 2017 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The blanket of crime is slowly suffocating this nation. The Government is fighting back and has introduced the zones of special operations (ZOSOs) initiative, which has the support of every well-thinking Jamaican.

Mount Salem, St James, was declared the first ZOSO last week, and Police Superintendent Stephanie Lindsay assured the country at that time that the force was as ready as it could ever be to participate in this operation.

By the start of this week, the nation was hearing that the full complement of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) did not turn up for duty in Mount Salem. Anecdotally, we hear that approximately one-third of the JCF showed up. Further, we were told that the data provided by the JCF, and which were used to help determine Mt Salem's eligibility for selection, were inaccurate.

For me, the fact that the majority of the police did not turn up for this most critical effort - one in which the nation is holding out much hope - is even more alarming than the fact that they got the numbers wrong. It cannot be that my manager gives me an instruction and I simply flout it!

suffer the consequences

Those JCF members who did not turn up have essentially sabotaged the operation. Therefore, if I decide not to turn up for duty, I must be prepared to suffer the consequences of my action.

It's been one week since this incident, and the silence from the Police High Command, the Police Service Commission and the Government is deafening.

To date, no official statement has been issued on the matter, and the nation has yet to hear what strong disciplinary action will be taken against those police personnel who did not report for duty at Mount Salem; and the nation is waiting, because if we are serious about this special-ops zones initiative, this cannot be a nine-day talk shop! A clear message must be sent to the boycotters that this behaviour will not be tolerated and must never happen again.

I don't care how many internal challenges JCF members are facing at this time; they are employed to do a job. This is a major national effort to break the back of crime, and the majority of them simply decide to not show up. That's totally unacceptable! If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen and stop holding the nation to ransom! And what message is this sending to the criminals?

Equally disturbing is what is coming out of the Ministry of National Security. The Mt Salem operation is one week old, and we are still waiting to hear why some members of the JCF did not turn up for duty. Yet, the minister of national security proceeded to issue a statement Wednesday demanding that the JCF promote staff who qualify for promotion to stem the slide in morale. Wrong timing, Mr Montague!

Just last week, members of the JCF embarrassed your Government and sabotaged the special-ops zones effort. While the nation waits to hear what consequences these persons will suffer, you are demanding promotion within their ranks?

I can only conclude that the issue of promotion takes precedence over the disciplinary matter, and the police are essentially being rewarded for dissent and sabotage. I can interpret it in no other way.

It is either that the JCF, as a body, is with us or it is with the criminals. I don't know about you, but based on what transpired in Mount Salem last week, I have formed my own conclusion.

So, whither the JCF? Who will bell the cat?

DISMAYED

blackpearl312@gmail.com

Kingston 20