One of the things I have argued over the years to much push-back from some of my friends is that police training is inadequate.
I fundamentally believe that the drills should be curtailed to 10% of what it is presently.
Drills are purely ceremonial, they literally serve no useful purpose in real policing practices.
The 90% of the time taken from (drills) should be utilized in weight training and swimming.
Hand-to-hand training is critical as this is perhaps going to be the most utilized element by officers and may arguably be the difference between life and death of officers.
I make the foregone in light of an incident involving an officer and a schoolboy at the Kellits High School in Clarendon
In the incident, the officer was badly manhandled and overpowered by the schoolboy in quick time.
Rather than criticize the officer and what he may or may not have done wrong in the time in which he was assaulted I would rather like to once again point to (a)the ineffectiveness of the training in the Jamaica Constabulary Force and (b) the ease with which citizens feel free to assault officers of the force as a consequence of the lack of punitive components in the law.
Assaulting a police officer in most developed countries is a felony punishable by real jail time on conviction.
Jamaica is certainly not a developed country but it hasn’t been shy in quickly adopting practices it leaders deem in their best interest from developed countries.
What hasn’t happened is a bill in the parliament which addresses appropriately the dangers police face in this volatile environment.
Conversely, the INDECOM bill was introduced in 2010 under the Jamaica Labor Party’s (JLP) Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, with the full backing of the Opposition People’s National Party(PNP).
That bill became law with marginal results against crooked cops and devastating consequences for crime fighting on the Island.
Additionally, administrations of both political parties have empowered other agencies like the Peblic Defender’s Act which created another layer of state-funded antagonism against law-enforcement, unprecedented anywhere in the world.
Arguably the only thing the two political parties in Jamaica can find common cause around is their disgust for law-enforcement and the rule of law.
Changing police commissioners, putting friends into positions of power will not change the trajectory of crime.
Changing the structural inadequacies in the training regimen and giving law enforcement the tools it needs to get the job done
Job one for all police officers is self-preservation.
The training the police is receiving is far from adequate hence these incidents. Thankfully this one did not result in the loss of life but officers have lost their lives before in this way.
I call on the Government once again, shelve the archaic training and introduce real training, commensurate with the dictates of the times.
The little thug will most likely get a brush on the wrist by a liberal judge. The officer is forever exposed to ridicule and the lawlessness will continue.
It will continue because the Government which has the power to put a stop to it refuses to give law enforcement the necessary tools they need to do their jobs safely and effectively.