Ionie Ramsay Nelson | It’s about time - A coalition of good Jamaicans needed to tackle crime
It is public knowledge that I stoutly pushed for the boys club code to be cracked and Deputy Commissioner Novelette Grant be appointed commissioner of police, but my suggestion, and that of many other Jamaicans, was scoffed at.
In a way, I am happy that she did not get the job because had she been placed in the post without the requisite support that is absolutely necessary in the management and control of crime, she would have been perceived as a failure, too.
But I have to reflect on Commissioner George Quallo. Although I was cheering for Ms Grant, I did state that Mr Quallo was the best consolation.
A well-mannered, hard-working, fair person, who was never known to be a political animal and had excellent results in all the divisions or areas he was in charge of.
Mr Quallo was the toast of a lot of people when he was appointed, but soon after, we forgot that he's not God, neither is the Minister of National Security Robert Montague and, therefore, neither is capable of working miracles.
Jamaica will not be better even if we change a minister of national security every day and a commissioner of police every day without:
- Fixing the other social problems plaguing the society.
- Curing our greedy and dishonest approach to most things and services offered.
- Taking care of our children.
- Treating the elderly right.
- Stop taking and refusing to give back.
- Removing the 'assigned blockers' from desks where hardworking people have been prevented from accessing their pensions and other benefits they are entitled to in a reasonable time.
- Stop having more children than we can afford to care for.
- Breaking ties with all persons who are unwilling to change for the better.
- Sending the demons back to hell so that we can invoke some serious blessings on this beautiful nation.
Too many of us who were raised in Christian homes or exposed to good parenting and proper upbringing that embraced good manners, morals, honesty, and integrity, totally forget most, if not everything, once we get into the workplace or, in some instances, access higher learning.
MESSAGE TO THE JCF
To the members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), I know most of you and your families are hurting and demoralised, but if you are serious about carrying your duties without allowing the 'crab-in-a-barrel' mentality to possess you, now is the time to stand up and be counted; you are needed.
Many of us are hurting for you and praying for better days.
This is the time for you to prove the naysayers wrong.
You are still a 'child of the universe and you have a right to be here'. Get a copy of Desiderata, recite it and listen to it over and over again until you believe it.
And never neglect the best book in history and the power of prayer.
Some of us who made it and are still standing had our fair share of horrible experiences, too, but choose the role models carefully and kept the focus.
For example, while serving as the commanding officer for the St Andrew Central Division, I dealt with a number of documents for a businessman. Seven of the 132 documents needed additional official accompaniment.
He called my office and asked, "Is that why you holding up the things them?"
"Yes sir," I responded.
He said, "But I need them."
I responded, "And I won't sign them until the rest of the information outstanding is produced."
At the same time, another of his colleagues requested that I affix my signature to recommend a facility that was not safe for the type of operation being carried out, and I refused.
The following day, I received a call from the distinguished man who told me in no uncertain terms, "The two of us can't remain in this division". About two weeks later, I was out of there.
It is not unusual for some members of the society to believe that they should breeze through or expect to remain in their offices and run the division and/or the JCF to their own benefit or for their personal interests.
On one of my assignments, I was called a 'damn fool' by a politician who called my office and wanted to dictate how a particular issue should be handled.
I was almost hoodwinked into sending out a false report regarding a situation that would have reflected negatively on another organisation and huge implications for national security.
One thing I have always tried to do is not to allow people to scare me into doing something that I believe is unlawful or illegal, and I learnt early in my career that transfers is a part of the job.
I accompanied the then commissioner of police to a meeting, left the meeting and went to purchase petrol for my private vehicle which I had driven, slipped and fell and was deemed to be off duty.
For three long years, I fought the system to have the matter recorded on my medical history sheet.
The document travelled from one place to the other, including the Attorney General's Office, and had I not stood up in a high-profile internal forum and outlined my case, it would not have been accepted or recorded.
Some of you would be surprised to know that I was dismissed in 1972 from the JCF for 'having two children in one year', and had to cry buckets of eye water and beg for my job to be returned.
It was after that that I created history by being the first female motorcycle cop in the Western Hemisphere, strongly supported and recommended by retired Assistant Commissioner Ransford R. Roach, who was called a madman for recommending a 112-pound woman to ride a motorcycle.
Had it not been for a personal relationship with God, good guidance, and support given by two of my many role models, the late Deputy Superintendent Alice Henry and Ransford R. Roach, the prayers of those who cared, and the excellent support from communities I served, I would not have made it.
As the heart of men become desperately wicked, continue to fight the good fight. Your job will never get easier but it is doable.
If you joined just to fatten your rÈsumÈ and 'eat a food', go home and allow the genuine policemen and women to work on the necessary change.
I call upon the churches and the society to hold hands with ministry of national security and the JCF and its auxiliaries and take back Jamaica from the clutches of the evil ones.
It's about time.
- Ionie Ramsay Nelson served the JCF for more than 40 years. Send feedback to: firstname.lastname@example.org.