The Jamaica Constabulary Force, (JCF) adopted a new jingle, mantra, a new ideological catch-phrase if you will, by which it wants to be identified. It is part of the supposed restructuring and refocusing of the force and part of the so-called transformation which will propel it into a modern 21st-century law enforcement agency, of which we can all be proud.
The new phrase is .….….
“BECOMING A FORCE FOR GOOD”.
Now, those who follow these pages understand fully well why I’m writing this article. In the 155-year history of the (JCF), thousands of men and women have passed through the doors of the JCF and its fine auxiliaries.
Like the wider society, some of the members have been great human-beings others not so much and others downright criminals, more so over the last two to three decades than any other period in the forces storied history.
Like the wider Jamaican society, it is easy to understand how the quality of applicants accepted into the (JCF ) would have changed over the last three decades to include persons with not so great moral clarity and conviction.
Nevertheless, if we separate out those who entered the agency with mal-intent, from the true believers who may have been looking for a job, but after entering the agency became true believers in the cause of justice and service, the average cop gave invaluable service to our nation.
It is with that understanding that I personally find the phrase “BECOMING A FORCE FOR GOOD” to be such an affront and a slap in the face of the thousands of patriots who served the Jamaica Constabulary Force with dignity and pride of service.
Many gave their lives in service to their country, many have been seriously and egregiously injured and maimed in the process.
As a serving member, I never wavered in my commitment to the people I served, which got me a bullet in 1987.
literally, every batch of student constables that graduated from Port Royal, Twickenham Park and later the Police Academy at the latter location, has had members killed in the line of duty. My batch which graduated in December of 1982 was no different, like a military platoon in battle, far too many of my colleagues have given their lives and are now just a memory.
Every former officer has his or her own story to tell.
Many serving today also have their own story, these stories include horrifying encounters in which they faced down despotic killers, in situations in which they are outgunned.
Despite the many obstacles placed in the way of effective policing in Jamaica, the men and women who served have generally risen to the task like a phoenix and gave of their time, energy and talent, the best way they knew-how.
The (JCF) has always been a force for good. The force of yesterday has done yeoman’s work to provide security to the nation at great cost to themselves. Many members had their family lives ending up in tatters. Stress from the job devastated members’ health, resulting in early death and suicide rates far above the national averages.
Those who decided that the new mantra “BECOMING A FORCE FOR GOOD” was worth adopting, did not do so without knowing full well the connotation, “BECOMING”, added to that catch-phrase.
The word becoming, directly implies that the (JCF)of the past was NOT a force for good.
It is a cheap backhand slap at the thousands who have served that noble institution for over a century and a half.
That kind of backhand disrespect could only come from people with no sense of history, no sense of service and no sense of Esprit de corps.
In other words, it comes from fly-by-night know it all political hacks and the parachuted in protegees, who are given control of an agency in which they never served.
Unfortunately for the nation and the (JCF), many of the poor men and women serving today believe in that affront, becoming a force for good.
They repeat it without an understanding that it flies in the face of all the work that was ever done by those who came and served before them at great cost to their families and themselves.
Those who hate the rule of law, and hate the men and women who enforce the nation’s laws, knew exactly what they were doing when the arrived at ‘becoming a force for good’.
If they wanted to pay homage to the service and sacrifice of the (JCF), all they had to do was drop the word “BECOMING”.
“A FORCE FOR GOOD’ was what the JCF was always about.
No new Administration, no new Government, no new group or entity will be allowed to rewrite the history of service that we have given to nation-building.
There are many in government from the top down who pay lip service to the rule of law but have zero respect for the sacrifices of the (JCF).
They are products of a culture, and an era that simply cannot grasp the concept of the rule of law and fidelity to those principles and their importance to a stable and prosperous society.
Today’s (JCF) is better equipped, better staffed, better paid, better housed, better everything, than just over two decades ago. Yet crime has steadily increased year over year, except for the period after the security forces annexed Tivoli Gardens.
Whatever remains of law-abiding Jamaicans has better recognize real soon, that politicians come and go, but the (JCF), or some other force, must, and will always be there for the protection of the nation.
The leadership of our country has done everything possible to change the mandate of the (JCF), in essence, the force is “now a force for show”. A courtesy corps that finds it difficult to effectively execute a simple arrest.
It is not a reliable force, ready and capable, of taking on the ever-increasingly potent criminal underworld.
By dissing the (JCF) of the past, the nation’s leaders are not only spitting in the faces and on the graves of members past, but they are also pissing on the graves of the over 1300 dead Jamaicans who were slaughtered in just 2019 alone.
Mike Beckles is a former Jamaican police Detective corporal, businessman, researcher, and blogger.
He is a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog chatt-a-box.com.
He’s also a contributor to several websites.
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