There is a State of Emergency in St James Parish, [no scratch that] it is now (enhanced security), we cannot forget that.
Remember that the forty-six-year-old (46) Prime Minister Andrew Holness prides himself in reminding us that he is from a new Generation with different ideas. Not to forget also that right there in Salem St James was the very first so-called (ZOSO) initiated, we are not sure how that is panning out.
There is also a brouhaha brewing about the appointment of an acting Chief Justice, in the person of Justice Bryan Sykes for the Supreme Court. Now all of the Constitutional experts, Clergy, and political pundits have come out with their opinions of dire consequences as a result of the PM’s actions.
Yadda, yadda the sky is falling, when in actuality there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Prime Minister installing an acting Supreme Court chief justice while a search is fine-tuned. One which should not exclude the eminent Justice Sykes.
The argument that the search should have been going on ahead of time as the term limits of sitting chief justices is well known is a legitimate debate to have.
In the meantime, the crime situation is center stage, as the search is supposedly in earnest for a new Commissioner of Police after Commissioner George Quallo decided he could no longer carry the basket he was given to carry water.
Even as the search is in earnest for a Commissioner the Police Service Commission’s [PSC’s] membership is yet to be decided.
Local media Reports indicate the Prime Minister will make the appointments soon with Professor Gordon Shirley, as chairman. Dr. Marshall Hall. Retired Rear Admiral Peter Brady.Reverend Dr. Maitland Evans. And Anthony Harriott. The disrespectful fraud who recently labeled the entire police department “toxic” Has not issued an apology nor has he been asked to.
Of note is the not too difficult to spot slight, that of all of the retired commissioners and other senior-level retired officers in the country, no one is being considered to serve on the commission.
This fits into the narrative of Andrew Holness’s disdain for the police and may be summed up with local media pushing for a military leader to be once again placed in charge of the police department.
To do something once, and fail is, ……….. well not problematic. To do the very same thing and expect a different result from the first is silly. To attempt the same a third time is utterly stupid and boneheaded something I do not place outside Holness’s modus operandi.
If they think that crime is high now let them place another soldier above the men and women in the JCF and they will see what God they are serving.
In fact, local media is ecstatic about their support for a member of the military by pointing to the JDF’s reporting on the State of Emergency in St James.
They are giddy that in some instances the police officers are cut out of briefing frames.
This, the media claim is as a result of police corruption.This writer did not miss it,I reported on it weeks ago.
The fallacy of this chaos and disrespect is summed up in an article written for the [Observer] by a local faith leader (monikered H Morgan)
Nothing that we have tried thus far has worked to permanently quell the rampant spate of murders that has for too long held our beautiful island home in a vice-like grip of fear and underdevelopment. The many crime studies and crime plans have not worked. Changing the Government, ministers of national security and commissioners of police has not worked. Change in legislation, along with the introduction of harsher penalties, has not worked. Killer cops who allegedly operated death squads have not worked. Security operations and curfews have not worked. Zones of special operation have not worked, except in the immediate locale where they have been implemented. Now, the Government has imposed a state of public emergency in the parish of St James. But past experience with this particular response suggests that it too will not work. We are left with prayer but we have been praying for a long time.
Now there is so much wrong here which I will address but it is important to grasp that this minister believes that the answer to the nation’s crime problem lies in ( Pleading with dons, gunmen and shottas ).
Mind you these are the folks who are shaping public policy, the people’s opinions that are listened to on the Island.
More importantly, it is that mindset which guides the PrimeMinister’s thinking. Shockingly this UWI indoctrinated ideologue boneheadedly believes that there is a way to stop the doped up monsters without squashing them like bugs.
To begin with, the entire layout of failures which this Parson claimed have not worked, absolutely could not work within the framework of the decrepit system which exists in the country.
Placing beautiful antique furniture in a leaky old house result in destroyed antiques.
After all of their advocacy, the best we have now is prayer and pleadings with dons and shottas?
In what country does the government beg criminals to stop killing people?
I say give us a chance. I echo former SSP Adams, six-months, that’s it.
See that these are not real gangsters, not real thugs but sniveling little bitches who are allowed to do as they please because the Government refuses to carry out its primary function of protecting the nation from these punks..
Set anger aside, I feel drained, totally empty, that this is where we are on this when the solutions to the crime situation are right in front of our eyes.
The idea that all have failed is not the problem, the issue is that they continue to be stuck in the mindset that the things they tried were, in fact, useful solutions to the problem.
The 46-year-old Holness, a product of the University of the West Indies himself, was raised to have no respect for the police. His rhetoric has not only demonstrated that disrespect it has demonstrated his willingness to continue on this fools-folly of a gloved hand approach he has been on.
This writer has submitted a (12 point plan outline) to the Government which I have offered as a framework to begin a discussion on in assessing how the crime Monster may begin to be tamed. Since then other plans have emerged to include the PNP’s plan(which I haven’t seen ), as well as a plan submitted by former Deputy Commissioner of Police Mark Shields a British citizen who was seconded to Jamaica.
Shield’s plan sounded eerily reminiscent of a plan already in the public space but I digress.
(1) Shore up the ports of entry, effectively stopping the guns coming in illicitly and hold those gains.
(2) Tactically cordon the areas to be searched then go in with trained Dogs to find the weapons and arrest offenders.
(3) Stagger where the security forces go at any given time, it should not be based solely on the area with the highest number of killings.
By doing so you minimize the likelihood that your next move can be anticipated.
(4) Remove from the Prime Minister the power to decide where the security forces go in the ZOSO.
It matters not that the PM supposedly acts on the advice of the Security Council.
This Act hyper politicizes policing and gives the next party to hold power the ability to engage in tit-for-tat using the security forces to carry out their nefarious bidding.
As long as security operations are green-lighted by politicians those operations stand to be politicized.
(5) Stop the granting of bail to accused murderers and other dangerous felons. An independent judiciary is extremely important to any democracy, yet the judiciary cannot operate without accountability to the people.
Judges cannot be allowed to release criminals as they see fit while arguing bail is not a penalty, there are built-ins in the Bail act to keep violent offenders behind bars.
(6) Stop demagoguing the security forces. Give the Police the assurance they need that the Government and opposition support their efforts.
Use the airwaves to educate the people about the benefits of adhering to the rule of law. Make it clear to criminals they have no safe haven.
Demand greater accountability from the Police high command.
(7) Stop giving the nation the impression that effective hard-nosed policing which arrest criminals and places them in jail is antithetical to citizens human rights.
The greatest right a person has is the right to life. You have no right if you are dead, as such the country must place it focuses on removing from its midst the mindless killers and throw its support behind law enforcement.
(8) Citizens must be educated to desist from corrupting public officials, to report police and other public officials who ask for bribes.
Do not offer to bribe public officials. Repeal the INDECOM Act, debate and pass a new law with safeguards for the police. Ensure that the agency is totally unbiased and neutral.
(9) Enact truth in sentencing for certain categories of violent crimes.
Mandatory 25 years to life for murder, 20 years for all crimes committed with a gun.
This is absolutely necessary since the nation’s leaders have decided to go against the wishes of the people and have declared a moratorium on hanging.
Twenty years minimum for any crimes committed using a firearm.
(10) Look at the US Rico statute, and draft a law which models that statute effectively prosecuting gangsters as a criminal enterprise as the Rico Statute does.
(11) Institute Mandatory National Identification program, law enforcement needs to be able to identify each and every Jamaican.
(12) Remove all political interference from law enforcement. What this administration is doing is even more political interference not less.