The idea that change cannot be made through grassroots advocacy is not borne out by the facts. In 2010 I began a personal mission of bringing to the fore issues of crime affecting our country with a view to stimulating debate and discussion on the issue.
Having served as a police officer in our country gave me a unique perspective to try and bring a voice to the issue of policing in a way serving officers never could because of the constraints placed on their right to free speech.
I was under no illusion that this would be an easy endeavor, I was not delusional about the level of pushback which would come considering our country’s hatred for the rule of law.
As such, the death threats, name-calling, and other negatives which have been hurled at me was no surprise to me, I allowed them to simply roll off me like water from a Duck’s back.
I thought whatever negatives were being hurled at me would pale in comparison to remaining silent, not speaking truth to power. I thought if I could get one person to listen to reason, just one person to understand that we need our police officers in order to have a country it would be worth it.
The very people who would like to see the disbandment of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the firing of all its officers’ clamor for other people to take their place, without realizing that what those other people would be doing is called policing.
The moral of that little nugget is that we cannot have a society without the rule of law. There can be no real growth and prosperity in an atmosphere of criminality and chaos.
Over seven years later the message is finally seeping through.
Other Jamaicans are finally starting to realize that though we have far too many people in our police department who shouldn’t be there we must give support to our officers while the systems put in place remove bad actors from the stage.
Now a senior police commander in Clarendon Superintendent David White, is calling for limits to judges discretion in certain instances.
He is going to take a lot of flack from the regular peanut gallery, “who does he think he is talking about their gods in that way, they have a right to do what they see fit, how dare you criticize them”[sic].
Come tomorrow the papers will be filled with the fiery venom from the bloviating fools who defend these ultra-liberal, judges as if they are unaccountable to anyone. They will blab on and on about the sanctity of the separation of powers as if the separation of powers were not enshrined into law by men and may be changed, altered, and amended to fit the times by other men and women.
The commander argues that light sentences and undue delay in concluding cases are not in the best interest of justice. You think.
This statement from the police was once unheard of in Jamaica, though not in police departments in the modern world.
For years I have been pushing the Government to change the gun laws by adding greater punitive components which ensure that violent offenders who commit crimes using firearms are locked away for good.
That process,(mandatory minimum) for gun crimes is one step in reducing violent crimes by simply keeping offenders in prison where they belong and deterring others from committing violent crimes.
Venesha Phillips, PNP councilor for the Papine division and caretaker for the Eastern St Andrew constituency, is now declaring there should be No More Asking Criminals To Cease Fire, Pursue Them Relentlessly she demands.
Better late than never, I never quite understood the concept of begging warring factions to lay down their arms unless by that statement you are admitting that what the country faces is indeed an undeclared state of civil war.
Imagine having a peace management unit, not to mention those who proffer such an idea and are a part of that anti-police growth industry?
It is on that basis that I have argued over the years that traditional policing methods does not apply. The country has a duty to neutralize those threats before we begin any process of community policing much less the laughable concept of restorative justice, (given the context).
Anything short of an all-out war on the criminal gangs which result in body bags, or their member’s complete surrender and capitulation to the rule of law is a mockery of law enforcement.
It will most assuredly have dangerous underlying consequences for the future like a simmering volcano and a country sitting idly waiting to be vaporized by boiling lava.
It is stupid, there is no respect coming from the Prime Minister or the Minister of National Security, there is no cohesive policy which includes both political parties making it clear that there will be no refuge, no sanctuary for lawbreakers.
As such the problem of murders on the Island has been wrongly and incorrectly framed for years, as mere criminals and corner crews, not violent murderous gangs which have no compunction about coming together to challenge the authority of the state, as occurred in Tivoli Gardens in 2010.
Despite the glaring reality of this clear and present phenomenon the nation’s leaders look to and listen to bottom-feeding crustaceans like Horace Levy who heads the Peace Management Unit,( a group which is part of the anti-police growth industry).
People like Levy has a seat at the table on crime while the group he heads is against law enforcement officers, even as Levy has been a vexing anti-police antagonistic troll for years.
For years Horace Levy has stridently and aggressively refuted claims that the number of criminal gangs operating on the Island has been exploding in numbers.
Despite having zero data, training or experience in law enforcement Levy arguments held sway.What Levy says are corner crews was not what police faced.
The sense of innocence and youthful associations inherent in Levy’s characterization held sway, however, when police face the very same men they are heavily armed violent killers.
There is a search on for a new commissioner of police, the pickers are flawed and so whoever they chose will be flawed.
Nevertheless, changing the commissioner is only a tiny bit of what needs to be done. The longer the nation waits to place policies on the table that are not about vote buying and employ a real cop to execute those strategies there will be no change.
They have it all wrong.