Steve Lyston | Reformation: Next commissioner from JDF
The understanding of times and seasons are critical to the decision-making process for leaders and nations. The biggest hindrance to any nation's capacity to move forward is its unwillingness to pray and seek God's will and His solutions to the problems in that nation. (I Chronicles 12:32; II Chronicles 15; Psalms 25)
We are heading for a time that our greatest focus should be on external security, not internal security. Jamaica and the Caribbean have great potential to be recruiting hubs for terrorists. Hence, it is critical for us not just to reform, but to ensure that the next commissioner comes from the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) - one who will be able to motivate the rank and file, have strong supervisory management skills, and be a people person.
Having someone from the JDF to lead at this time would bring greater unity between the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the JDF, and better coordination in terms of operations and intelligence-gathering; so, they would not compete against each other, but instead, complement each other. They would also bring the necessary discipline that the JCF needs to go to the next level.
A lack of discipline is one of the greatest hindrances for the JCF and their ability to achieve their goals and objectives in crime reduction. When a lower-level member of the JCF can address his or her superior in the most disrespectful manner and very little comes out of it, then it leaves much to be desired.
The next commissioner must know about spiritual warfare and ensure that the men and women are given time to spiritually recharge and get their opportunity to observe their day of worship.
Many think that the solution to crime reduction lies in harsh legislation, increasing ammunition or hanging. Not so!
They need to change the name and the uniform of the JCF. By so doing, it will bring new purpose, create a new environment within which to work and a new mindset.
There should be regular rotation and transfer among those who work within the protective services (bodyguards of politicians).
Proper logistics need to be put in place. There needs to be a new station and some of the old stations need to go.
The motorised units should increase - not limited only to writing traffic tickets, but we need a major fleet to include roughly 1,500 bikes and bicycles to quickly move to certain areas and communities.
It should be made mandatory for every police officer to have a basic fitness test and classifications in firearm training.
There is a need to digitally archive the paperwork and reports of the JCF and computerise all divisions and set up a computer network for greater coordination of information which can be made available to all divisions.
Each divisional commander should not only be evaluated by his or her immediate superiors, but the mayor and custos should play a role in this evaluation. A good evaluation score should carry with it some type of reward and benefits.
In this area, there needs to be more community-outreach pro-grammes, which include both police and soldiers. This will bring in fresh tips from the public on how to reduce crime and it will strengthen the relationship between the communities and the security forces.
Carry out community surveys to determine how the police can better serve the community in order to more effectively reduce crime.
Have in-house competitions within the force that encourage better community relations. For example, most professional officer, best dressed, most disciplined personnel, and so on.
Spirit-filled chaplains and pastors should work with the police within the community and this will also give them the greater spiritual support they need in order to deal with the stress that comes with their job.
There must be a fair system for promotion. They ought not be promoted based solely on political affiliations, but there must be a clear evaluation system. Furthermore, that should not be hinged on how many men were killed and how many people they have arrested.
Moving forward, we cannot give our policemen baskets to carry water. Most of the crime is instigated by political interference to fulfill one's own mandate for political agenda.
The justice system also needs to be fixed. Many times, the hardworking security forces are blamed for things they have not done while the real culprits look on and many innocent ones are killed.
Let each and every one of us rally around our security force. Jamaica doesn't need foreigners to fix that problem. Our own people are quite capable of doing it.
- Steve Lyston is a biblical economics consultant and author of several books, including 'End Time Finance' and 'The New Millionaire'.