LETTER OF THE DAY - The police and lawlessness
The Editor, Sir:
I write in response to the call being made for the Jamaica Constabulary Force to be scrapped. It is folly to believe that scrapping of the force will result in a new one emerging; that it will engender a change in culture, norms and practices of a people who have gone wild.
This society is rooted in lawlessness, finger-pointing and the need for too much 'bligh'. You need only take a stroll on Hagley Park Road any morning and see the taxi and bus drivers as they seek to earn their living making three and four lanes in an area designated for only two; yet in those same vehicles, there are citizens of this country in their quest to get to their destination, who refuse to speak out about this culture/practice. We have a country of shotta drivers and passengers as well as public servants.
We must remember that certain values and morals are necessary for the development of each person for optimal, rational and logical functioning. If these are not harnessed early, how can you ask an organisation to transform those that the society sends out to become part of this noble institution to be reculturated in such short time?
A leaking roof does not require that the entire structure be removed to effect those repairs. What is fundamental is for certain changes - functional, structural and management, to be made.
Also, I do not support the view that the police cannot be trusted. Is it the police or the people who can't be trusted or both? How can the police visit a community at 4 a.m., be engaged in an altercation with someone and everyone sees and knows how both sides acted? Yet, in the same community, gunmen enter at noon and do the same thing and no one knows what happened.
Yes, there are those who will suggest that people are afraid to talk to the police because the information will get back to the criminals. But not all married men are adulterers, not all doctors operate outside of their ethical codes and not all policemen are involved in this type of behaviour.
Our people need to refocus and redefine their values and morals, and seek to engage everyone in the society for this change. There must be a paradigm shift and it must begin with us now.
This police force belongs to all of us and so we must take charge and be resolute to rid ourselves of the miscreants who are involved in the misdeeds among us.
I am, etc.,
Gregory Park PO