Wed | Jan 16, 2019

Response to Rattray's 'officious policing'

Published:Friday | September 5, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:Dear Garth Rattray, thank you for your commentary 'Officious policing is self-defeating'. It has once again brought to light the very serious issue of substandard police-citizen interactions that occur daily during the discharge of their sworn duties. I also hope that the authorities responsible for erecting the relevant signage at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) and its corridors have noted your concerns and are moving to address them.

The only authorised parking for non-staff users of the NMIA is a pay-for-use facility. The police have been actively discouraging parking along the Port Royal strip for years, and so motorists avoiding the parking fees find better luck parking along the Palisadoes strip.

However, the police-citizen partnership works both ways. The manner in which you advanced your argument went beyond pointing out a mismatch in the relationship. In fact, you were well over the line and knee deep in it when you allowed an abhorrent and dangerous sentiment of "a modicum of satisfaction whenever a cop is killed" to escape your privacy and be submitted for print. Irrespective of the ownership of the sentiment, you chose to offer it to us.

adding fuel to fire

By your own admission, the intent of the use of the corridor as a parking lot was unclear. Perhaps, you could have called Miss Gloudon or one of your police friends to help shed some light on that matter, rather than using your column to berate the officer and adding fuel to a fire already raging dangerously out of control. Our headlines are littered with the deaths of our citizenry, including members of the police force, because of immature emotional responses to perceived affronts and "officious policing". It is unacceptable that we are one insult/embarrassment/defiant comment away from our grave.

You could have done better, sir. I leave you with words I read today "Abusing your power, being rude and/or officious is self-defeating".

H. Hamil

Indiana, USA