From contributor Truthteller.
Recently we have seen a few videos on various social media platforms depicting police officers trying, yes trying, to arrest suspects. I’m not here to look at what the suspect did or didn’t do but let’s look at how the lack of accountability from the police high command over the years is putting officers who are on the front lines lives in serious danger.
In any modern police department, effective communication is extremely important as this helps to with quicker response time to incidents. When the officers go out there and step out of the service vehicle that has the radio that has direct contact with police control and other police units, you are basically on your own because you have no immediate access to control or control has no immediate access to you. When a situation gets to the point where the officers on the ground need assistance a simple push to talk requesting back up which can take less than 10 seconds can be the determining factor if a police officer loses his life while doing his job.
The videos being circulated we see where officers are in uniform doing their lawful duty and face much resistance, threat and assaults from the suspects and citizens who choose to intervene to aid the suspect evade arrest. In the USA those same Jamaicans who readily interfere and obstruct police in the lawful execution of their duties wouldn’t dare do it! No matter how “right” you think you are or even how “right” you are. They know that interference can lead to a quick combination of arrest, serious injury or death.
Now you have a boisterous crowd while you are arresting an offender if each police officer were equipped with a portable radio and the necessary attachments for easy use and flexibility and within minutes you see police units coming out of every nook and cranny people will respond to the effective presence. And yes the show of rapid force and coordination to make even one arrest then people will know to stand back. Of course, they have a right to videotape whatever they want but from a safe distance as stipulated by the officers on scene. However,you dare lay hands on the police trying to stop them from doing their job and that’s another matter.
Others will argue, oh the offense is committed against the state not against you. This kind of thought process is one of laziness and just an excuse to not do the job whoever came up with it.
So if the offender committed murder should the officers put it off until a next time because the crowd says so? Police actions must be swift and decisive and this is where effective communication equipment is needed for the front line officers. This takes visionary leadership to see and push it through and it’s apparent that the powers that be do not want a coordinated and effective Jamaica Police Department. The high command can get anything they want from the government just that they have spaghetti backs and tend to feed into this anti-police rhetoric, so not supporting the police even though you are in its leadership is the order of the day.
Equipping the police department with adequate technological tools will cost but this takes strong visionary leadership. Here’s an idea: roll it out in a phased basis through a division that operates in a highly dense area and use that urban setting that the officers frequent as a baseline and see how the system handles the load and do the necessary test and diagnosis, get out the bugs and then scale up throughout the island when you get it right. The country is not short on expertise in this area. There is two major telecommunication company on the island with the right incentive would help implement such system plus its good public relations for their brand.
Contributor ( Truthteller).
Contributor Truthteller has chosen to remain anonymous at this time, he is a former member of the JCF who has a wealth of experience as a police officer in Jamaica.
We would like to welcome him to our talented team of bloggers who have decided to speak out on topical issues affecting our country.