REPEAL AND REPLACE THE INDECOM ACT: Part 2.

 

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AUGUST 098The above was the title of yesterdays Blog-Post, unfortunately many people who responded to the article chose to see only the word (repeal). I do however value the discussions we had on this issue and the thoughts shared by everyone. Today I want to expand on the INDECOM Act. It is said that a bad law is worse than no law. The INDECOM Act, is a bad law. For clarification purposes I must address one particular criticism regarding the article, that is that I am opposed to INDECOM.  My quarrel is not with the Agency, my issue is with the way the law was written. As I have consistently said, the law was not properly though out. It is impossible to accuse me of being against INDECOM when I am advocating repealing , re-doing, and re-authorization of the law.

If critics of my position feel that they need a law which will put police officers in their place as dumb, illiterate, big-footed morons, who could get nothing else to do so they joined the force, then this conversation is not for them. You are free to have that conversation with like-minded folks as yourselves. If however we want to find a way around the issues of alleged police excesses and what are characterized as blatant abuse of citizens rights, then we should have a debate about that. What we should not do however, is design a system which makes victims of one side, even as we seek to assuage another. I will not re-litigate the points I raised yesterday which the Federation chairman has also raised . Sufficient to say that the parliament was not totally brain-dead when it authorized the Act. Membes were at least sober enough to give the law a shelf life. This gives them the opportunity to revisit and repair parts of the law which aren’t working so well. Let me be clear INDECOM did not come into existence because someone came up with the idea that it was good  to have transparency in a Government Agency. If that was the case Jamaica would be humming as a cultural and economic hub to be envied. download (9)The law came into existence because Police officers continue to betray the oath they took, with frightening frequency and impunity. This turned those with the worst intent into legitimate critics of the department. The department is then placed in an unenviable ,untenable position. The voices of supporters are often drowned out responding to critics some of whom should be in jail.For those obsessed with the idea that Jamaican police officers are opposed to what they refer to as (pressure groups) Oversight, they couldn’t be further from the truth. They also accuse the federation Chairman of everything , including being opposed to INDECOM. That is also a lie. I have spoken to many officers who welcome oversight. What they are opposed to is an agency with investigatory powers and an agenda contrary to it’s mandate. That is what INDECOM is . Terrence Williams is not a credible head for that agency his friends and associates are  Carolyn Gomes and others who are known anti-police agitators. In a Country of laws Williams would have been fired when he had that Press conference with Gomes. One of the foundation tenets of justice is that it must not only be done , it must also appear to be done. Williams breached that trust of fidelity in his quest and desire to self-aggrandize.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a seaperate independent Agency with the same powers as the Police. In fact it is needed, competition delivers a better product to the customers, the Jamaican people. One of the reasons I have called for the INDECOM law to be repealed and re-done is exactly for that reason. I believe this new agency should investigate all crimes, not just police abuses. This will draw criticisms that it would be a duplication of efforts. To those I ask ” is the FBI’s job a duplication of efforts”? Lets have a clean un-encumbered INDECOM ,empower it to investigate crimes including police, it guarantees a better law enforcement product through competition. When INDECOM members fall afoul of the law they are subject to being arrested by police. When Police officers fall afoul they are subject to the same treatment, what’s not to like it works well for other countries.