CLIFFORD BLAKE’S TALK EXPOSES A DEEP ROT STILL IN THE SYSTEM, WHICH WILL HAVE TO BE ERADICATED IF THE NATION WANTS TO DIG OUT FROM UNDER THE CRIME AND TERRORISM IT FACES.
For years the Island’s traffic police have been accused of soliciting and accepting bribe sullying the name of the department and shaming their colleagues in the process.
One of the many things police officers are taught is that they are the very first judge of situations, particularly as it relates to traffic offenses and discretion happens to be one of the tools in their toolbox.
Because of that discretion, the roadways have become literal devils highway of death and a chaotic mess of confusion and lawlessness.
Many officers have interpreted discretion to mean that traffic infractions are not criminal acts and so they should turn a blind eye.
Many officers, as a result, have become like the three blind mice, see, hear, and do no evil on traffic, much to the chagrin of many who criticise them for everything.
They complain that the police allow bus and taxi operators as well as private motorists to do as they please on the nation’s roadways. Others accuse them of being too harsh in handing out tickets and seizing vehicles.
In the end, the police on the streets are left in a no-win situation in which if they enforce the laws they are wrong and when they exercise discretion they are wrong.
The sad irony is that the more things change is the more they remain the same. Their very leadership tells them that enforcing the laws are wrong. That they should supplant their duty with [discretionary guidance ], effectively letting motorists off the hook, none of which are required of officers in the execution of their duties.
This supposed discretion in many instances leads to corruption, flagrant disregard of the nation’s laws and trouble for officers.
DCP Clifford Blake, the head of the police’s Strategic Operations Portfolio, as he addressed a batch of 35 policemen and women who graduated from a motorcycle driving and maintenance course recently.
I took the time to watch this video and I can tell you that I was grossly offended by it. Let me be clear if the police are causing people to pay exorbitant wrecker fees that is wrong and they should desist forthwith. However, Blake’s talk could be summed up as capitulation and a rallying cry for the continuation of the status quo in our country.
Why did his Blakes friend the pastor call him when the officers did exactly what the law gives them the authority to do, which was to seize the unlicensed motor vehicle?
What was on his mind, didn’t Blakes friend the Pastor call him the Deputy Commissioner of Police because he believed that he could make the matter go away?
I’ll tell you what, that’s exactly what it was.
Why was this woman driving an unregistered vehicle regardless of where she was going, church or no church?
What were the officers to do, as far as Clifford Blake was concerned, were they to allow her to drive the unregistered vehicle and kill someone?
What would Clifford Blake say then, Wouldn’t Blake be the first to tell the media the procedures officers ought to have followed after they stopped an unlicensed operator?
The idea of using discretion is a long time idea of policing but it further drives crime, corrupts officers and emboldens people to continue to break the laws.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Clifford Blake, a man many believe should have been the Commissioner of police and may yet become Commissioner has demonstrated in that speech alone that he is clueless to law enforcement.
Small infractions metastasize into larger crimes. Stop the small things [correctly] and you avoid the big things.
No police officer, much less a senior commander [for what his position is worth] should be in the business of telling officers on the ground that they should supplant writing tickets and remove unlicensed vehicles from the streets with their discretion.
It shows that for the few people left in Jamaica who haven’t given up on a crime-free Jamaica in which corruption is a thing of the past, they may as well throw in the towel.
For decades members of the JCF has done it Clifford Blake’s way and look where it has gotten us.
It is not the fault of the police that the woman going to church was driving an unregistered vehicle. She has a responsibility to register her car.
If we need to remove anything from the force it is the Clifford Blakes whose friends call them because of their rank with the express intent of having them overrule the lawful actions of officers on the ground who are doing their duties in upholding the laws as they are sworn to.
This must stop.
Clifford Blake has demonstrated that he is unfit to be a leader of officers and darn sure should never be given the job to lead the men and women looking for real leadership in the JCF.
Jamaica’s traffic cops should and needs to be far more decisive if sanity is to be returned to the nation’s streets not less decisive and resolute.
Blake should be ashamed of himself, traffic officers have a job to do. Yes the job of the police is to serve and protect but it is a damn law enforcement agency, not a day care agency,it’s time Clifford Blake receive that memo.