St Thomas has new police boss
The new police boss for St Thomas, Superintendent Marlene Wilson-Christie, says her main focus is to ensure that the police treat citizens with respect, act according to the law, and to remind people that they are here to serve, protect and reassure. She believes the Jamaica Constabulary Force will be better able to carry out its duties if it gains the trust of the people.
"I believe in communication, dialogue and community meetings," said Wilson-Christie. "The citizens of St. Thomas will see me coming into their communities, through the churches, through the schools, or wherever. If you're having a challenge in your police area, then find the head station and report it."
The new commanding officer told Rural Xpress that she is big on relationships and, therefore, hopes to establish and maintain a certain level of trust between herself and the people of the parish.
Wilson-Christie said she got a chance to meet with a few people on Monday of this week when the officers took to the streets to interface with citizens as a part of the celebrations of National Police Week.
"It gave me, as the new commanding officer for the parish, the opportunity to meet several business persons, and I must say that the citizens of St Thomas are warm, welcoming and encouraging.
"It also gave me the opportunity to reassure and remind them of the things that the police are here to do, and to let them know that we are here to work in partnership with them," she said.
With one case of child cruelty now in the local court following the surfacing of a video on social media depicting a partially nude woman beating her daughter with a machete, Wilson-Christie said she was pleased to have mothers approaching her to speak about challenges being faced in the home and their belief that the police seemingly defend the children and deem them, the parents, as the culprits.
Wilson-Christie stated: "I am here to tell them that the objective is to ensure that nobody's rights are abused and that sometimes, though it may seem like we are on the children's sides, we are here to make sure that there is no form of abuse."
Though not without crime, St Thomas scores among the parishes in the country with the lowest murder rate. However, the superintendent noted that the issue of domestic disputes in the parish needs immediate attention. But she said that with much sensitisation and teamwork, this problem can be solved.
"I believe it is very important that persons be educated and reminded of their roles, functions and responsibilities, because in order for us to deal with that (domestic disputes), it has to be a team effort, it can't be the police alone," she explained, while encouraging people to report all suspected cases of abuse.