Recently, Minister of National Security Horace Chang stated that when his party took power they inherited, a glorified security guard company, (speaking of the Jamaica Constabulary Force(JCF)).
I was unsure how to process that statement.
On the one hand, the JCF’s leadership have been woefully lacking, derelict, incompetent even, in executing the leadership the agency needs.
Furthermore, even with the woeful lack of resources given the department, the high command has not demonstrated the kind of forward thinking necessary to maximize the resources at its disposal.
But the JCF has never been about hard results, its focus throughout its existence has largely been about form rather than substance.
Sure, the agency can put on a smart drill parade to impress the Island’s bourgeoisie and the poor commoners.
Officers of all ranks can be counted on to look smart in their impractical colonial-era uniforms, performing all kinds of tricks and sometimes stunning feats to the delight of the upper class.
All of this is reminiscent of the spectacle of the old Roman amphitheaters in which gladiators performed to the death, to the delight of the upper class.
But when the time comes for the JCF to be a modern evolving law enforcement agency which has strategic goals and tested strategies to go after criminals that is where the agency falls short.
On the other hand, the men and women who do the grunge work cannot be faulted for the incompetence of their leaders.
Poor things many would not even understand that the leadership of the agency do not care about them and are only in it to secure their own interest.
Nevertheless having thought through the Minister’s statement I wrote a response and I stand by that response today.
Regardless of how Chang’s statement was viewed, his words could have been more artful, less disrespectful.
In seeking to make political hay out of the fact that the previous administration had not done due diligence to law-enforcement, the sorry little man threw in a little uncalled for disrespect to the men and women of the force.
Understandably, the rancid bellicosity inside these little partisans makes decency and respect impossible.
Now having said that, pejoratively comparing Jamaican police officers to [security guards] may not be such a disrespectful thing after all.
In many cases, the guard’s uniforms are better and more practical than that of police officers.
Many are paid better than police officers.
Their interest is paramount to their employers, who do not put them out there on their own without a support structure.
Their employers are not part of the process of commission and omission which places their interest and well-being in jeopardy and exposes them to prison and ridicule for doing what they are sworn to do.
In the recent death of [King Alarm]security guard Lincoln Graham in a shootout in Portmore St Catherine .King Alarm executives acted in a way that the Police High Command could only dream of.
Responding to the shooting death of their colleague and employee.
STATEMENT FROM KING ALARM
“We confirm the tragic and most unfortunate fatal shooting of one of our dedicated security officers.”
“Preliminary investigations suggest that officer Graham displayed remarkable bravery in the carrying out of his duties, and he sadly paid the ultimate price for his bravery and heroism.”
“Officer Graham’s heroic actions, in the face of the most adverse of circumstances, no doubt helped to protect the lives and property of others, and he died doing what he pledged to do many years ago – serve and protect.”
“We at KingAlarm have already reached out to Crime Stop and encourage those with information relating to this heinous crime to share it anonymously with them by calling 311, or to do so directly with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), which has already commenced investigations.”
“We thank our clients, members of the public and colleagues from within the security industry for their outpouring of support during this difficult time, as we mourn the untimely passing of a member of our KingAlarm family.”
When has the JCF ever stood up and made a statement as forceful, concise and unequivocal as this when a brave police officer gives his life in service to his country?
Does the leadership of the JCF even know how to put together a statement of this caliber?
That is the question.
I’m beginning to think that what Horace Chang meant for harm and disrespect may actually be a badge of honor.
I salute all police officers, members of our military and security officers.
You are the good guys who put your lives on the line in defense of others, even those who do not deserve it.
Horace Chang being front and center, a recipient of what he does not deserve.
As you strive to secure the country this holiday season for both the just and the unjust, remember your families.
Make sure that whatever you do, give enough thought to the well being of your own families, it is up to you to look out for their welfare.
No one else can be counted on to do so.