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The police and our communities
Why has the word “police” become associated so much with incompetence instead of security and protection? Continuous lambasting of the law-enforcement service has kept police officers in their demoralised stalemate. The policing job is similar to a teaching job, in which I believe improved performance cannot take place without high morale. In this case, morale is stabilising the officer’s belief in his uniform and his unit. Like a teacher, an officer of the law cannot expect to be a bullying tyrant and gain the trust of his classroom or community.
Methods like that always backfire, as it is backfiring now. The norm we hold of the current state of our police service is that they are bumbling, inadequate, hostile and corrupt. The police, as well as the public’s desensitised reactions to crime is perturbing. This is coupled with our tendency to forget most atrocities that were committed a week ago.
With new crimes pouring in every day and the outflow of our justice system being clogged with red tape, the number of reported crimes and dead bodies have quickly surpassed it tenfold. The fact that these offenders might not even make it into court would be severely demotivating not only for the individual investigating officers, but to society as a whole.
Jack Warner has said that he would collaborate with Chief Justice Ivor Archie to address this problem, but we need to bring in more legal experts to expedite this process. Another problem is that reporting a crime seems as helpful as screaming into a black hole. Ideally, no reported crime should go without any degree of investigation.
No member of society, civilian or criminal, should believe that a certain percentage of misdemeanours are placed on the backburner. That notion should be dispelled. But we cannot move with the rushed desperation that was evident during our botched limited state of emergency.
Every crime should be logged, mapped and patterned, with specific areas, along with those adjacent targeted and monitored. Hire expert criminologists. Be serious about any matters dealing with internal affairs and insider corruption. Perhaps hire skilled foreign staff of unbiased nature to investigate these matters. All the pieces matter.
There are outlets such as Crime Stoppers that have tried to narrow the communication rift between citizen and enforcer. More people should be informed of how to relay these anonymous tips. Officers that do their job well should be placed in the limelight so that they may lead by example. The fatal shootings and hostile attitudes are not what good policing is about. Those things do not make anyone feel a sense of security.
A good teacher does not just try to drill knowledge into his student’s heads but try to lead by example and give hope to and inspire his students to do what they need to do to attain success. Just like a teacher, a policeman should have no barrier between himself and the community he wishes to serve. There can be no feeling of security, if there is no feeling of trust and integrity. And we, the community, should also remember that a teacher alone cannot make a child pass an exam.
The child must study and do his work, just as the community has to do its work. But with a demotivated teacher or police service who we do not trust, we will find that harder and harder to do. In the end, no community “likes it so.” It just seems that most believe that collaborating with the police is more dangerous than keeping the information to themselves.
Kevin Jared Hosein
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