Becoming A Force For Good”, Wait, What?

mike beck­les

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 .….….


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 “BECOMINGFORCE 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 “BECOMINGFORCE 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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