The rollout of armored personnel carriers and the blanketing of communities like Grange Hill In Westmoreland with security personnel bodies are cool optics and all, It may even be spectacular to some people who have never seen a spectacle like that in those parts of the country.
In fact, the massive rollout of governmental power as it is may even save some lives as local shottas are forced to lay low for a while until they figure out the logistics of moving around undetected to ply their macabre trade.
Ultimately though, I believe like everyone else the government knows that this strategy wears thing really fast. The bodies of police officers and soldiers alike begin to grow tired and weary, and criminals eventually adapt to the security presence and figure out ways around them.
There is a precedent for this, despite the massive deployment in St James, murders dissipated in some areas but flared up in others, and occurred even in the areas of the state of emergency(SOE).
I hate to say “I told you so” but Stevie Wonder could have seen that coming.
Sure the Administration has to do whatever it can to stem the bloodlettings. Failure to do so would amount to an abdication of its core function.
Unlike the Opposition PNP which criticizes the SOE’s and ZOSO’s initiated by the administration simply for the sake of political expediency, my response is about sustainability.
Many years ago I accompanied a friend to a place in the St Ann hills. I drove my precious little VW Golf which was leaking engine oil from an engine which had long past its prime. Unmindful of the calamity we were placing ourselves in, we went anyway, despite the oil leak and the clatter and clunk from a dying engine.
We had a grand time and later that night we decided to head back to Kingston.
I started my old jalopy and the clanking sounded louder than it did earlier that day. We got out of the car and looked underneath where all of the oil made a meandering pattern in the red St Ann dust. The last guy who looked at the oil leak had forgotten to tighten the drain plug.
There was no service station around and we had no engine oil.
I thought about using cooking oil as a substitute after plugging the drain with cloth and other stuff but the only shop opened at that time of the night had no cooking oil. A grizzled old regular standing nearby suggested we use “Syrup.”……….. >Syrup?
The lady at the shop had syrup, so strawberry syrup it was.
The syrup had enough viscosity to take us to Kingston. I can just imagine the party those engine parts had at the sweet treat, nevertheless, the sweet treat had to be purged from the engine and replaced with the actual stuff which is guaranteed to produce the desired results.
So back to the less tasty engine oil went my old Golf, sorry engine parts the party is over.
The initial sugar rush to the citizens who are delighted to see government forces, wears thin real quick when their movements are constrained, businesses are forced to close early and parties become a thing of the past.
I am not criticizing the administration for doing what it must, a-la these stop-gap measures. The political opposition certainly has no moral authority and definitely no standing based on its precedent of failure. When the PNP criticizes the government as it has been doing, it makes its motives rather suspect, as it has been complicit in the criminalizing and destruction of our culture.
So what is the solution?
The solution lies not in the show of force but in a resolute show of resolve beginning with new laws.
Let the bleeding heart frauds who opine on every issue from behind their grilled fortifications chat to their heart’s content, that’s what they do.
Let them pontificate about human rights and let them yap about policies and protocols befitting Scandinavia.
The Government has a responsibility to secure the nation, and Jamaica certainly isn’t Scandinavia.
The greatest threat to the nation’s security is not the little-disjointed gangs running around with Kalashnikov rifles, it is the pontificating frauds who shape public policy with data and direction they pull out of their collective asses.
There must be a strengthening of the nation’s gun laws, as the security forces battle to find the weapons those with the predisposition to bring guns into the country find new ways to avoid detection.
The guns the security forces recover must, therefore, be seen as a mere fraction of the weapons and ammunition flooding the country from the United States, Hatia and Colombia via the drug trade.
The fight must be a government to Government interaction.
As a young police officer, I spent countless hours in the bushes of Westmoreland and other parts of the country destroying Ganga fields because Ronald Reagan wanted then destroyed.
Jamaican Ganga was getting into the United States and many Jamaicans were getting rich from the weed.
Jamaican gangs across the United States had used their new found wealth to create mayhem on the streets of many US cities, it was not enough to make money they embarked on a system of wanton violence never before experienced in cities like New York and as far away as Anchorage Alaska.
The United States took the necessary steps to correct the madness through the passage of laws like the RICO statute and the “three strikes you are out”, laws.
Many groups criticized those laws and they admittedly weren’t perfect, but they worked. Problems with those laws arose when law-enforcement and prosecutors chose to inject race and other considerations into their applications.
Nevertheless, the unavoidable consensus is that those laws worked to remove those threats from the equation.
It is now time for Jamaica to demand that the United States work collaboratively with Jamaican law enforcement, not just to stop the guns coming in, but to trace the shipments from the US to their sources and bring the shippers to justice.
Jamaican law enforcement must also exercise better investigative techniques which are not confined just to the recovery of the shipment and the adrenaline derived from knowing those weapons will never reach the hands of murderous thugs. They must be focused more on techniques which follow shipments to those who receive them.
Even if the foregone is instituted, those who flout the nation’s laws and wreak havoc on the society can simply walk out on bail when arrested. Jamaican judges are
Unless the Bail Act is redone it’s all for naught.
Subsequently, there must be legislative changes which take from the hands of conflicted judges the ability to grant bail for certain categories of violent crimes.
Yea, yea, guilty until proven innocent balderdash, tell that to the victims of violent crimes and their families.
Tell that to those who had their loved ones snatched away from them because some punk has a gun and want to demonstrate his power.
Tell that to the mothers who see their daughters violated corpse lying in bushes because some moron decided that no meant yes.
Before a nation builds out its ideas of a modern society and embarks on the perfection of the rights and privileges its inhabitants desire and to which they are entitled, it has to do the hard work of first creating a nation in which the rule of law is sacrosanct.
That hard work begins with a constitution and a set of laws which protects the innocent and punishes the guilty.
As long as Jamaica continues to allow the unpunished assault of the weak and innocent and simultaneously protects the rights of the guilty there will be no turn around from this dilemma the nation faces.