Government’s 5‑billion Plan Says To Hell With Officer Safety…

Mike Beckles.……

One of the many police sta­tions in Jamaica to have been attacked by gang­sters

In a (JIS)Jamaica Information Service release, the Jamaican Government announced recent­ly that it intends to spend $5 bil­lion in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to bet­ter com­bat crime, while mak­ing it the best police force in the region.
According to the release, the mon­ey will be spent on five(5) key areas.
Opening the 201920 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on April 16, Dr. Chang said the mon­ey will be spent on five key areas.
These include rebuild­ing and retro­fitting of police sta­tions into mod­ern cit­i­zen-friend­ly spaces; upgrad­ing of police com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems; intro­duc­ing tech­nol­o­gy as a force mul­ti­pli­er; improv­ing police mobil­i­ty; and inter­nal restruc­tur­ing and expand­ed train­ing of police offi­cers.
In a 
He said the Government is work­ing to ensure that all police sta­tions will be brought up to “min­i­mum stan­dards” over the next two years.

At the risk of being imme­di­ate­ly lam­pooned as a Debbie-down­er by the hyper-par­ti­sans who can­not under­stand any­thing out­side orange and green, I must say that I am dis­ap­point­ed that I haven’t seen any­thing in the allo­ca­tion which rec­og­nizes the need for cops to be paid a liv­able wage.
But I get that, this is Jamaica we are talk­ing about, there is no respect for law enforce­ment offi­cers, truth­ful­ly, there is scant respect for the rule of law, but I digress.
I want to go on record here and make some dire pre­dic­tions regard­ing the specifics of a few of the plan as laid out by Horace Chang the Minister of National Security.
If this does not shock you into a recog­ni­tion that the pol­i­cy­mak­ers are going back­ward I have no idea what will.
Without going into the speci­fici­ty of where the fund­ing is com­ing from, here is the prob­lem with the deci­sion-mak­ing.

Part of Horace Chang’s state­ments.

Not only are we rebuild­ing and retro­fitting par­tic­u­lar police sta­tions but all sta­tions will be redesigned to look like mod­ern office space,” Dr. Chang said.
He informed that sta­tions will be equipped with appro­pri­ate recep­tion areas for all per­sons who need to access police ser­vices through this medi­um.
“Interview rooms will be designed to ensure pri­va­cy yet trans­paren­cy of the offi­cers record­ing state­ments and the cit­i­zens who come in to file sen­si­tive com­plaints, espe­cial­ly per­sons who come to make reports con­cern­ing inti­mate part­ner vio­lence, domes­tic vio­lence, and sex­u­al abuse,” he said.

He fur­ther not­ed that offi­cers will be enlist­ed in the req­ui­site pub­lic engage­ment pro­grammes, as good cus­tomer ser­vice is as essen­tial as prop­er infra­struc­ture. “All per­sons seek­ing the assis­tance of the police are clients of the Government and we must treat them with the dig­ni­ty they deserve,” he said.

Jamaica is going deep­er and deep­er into a state of no return as it relates to armed gangs. The Island’s Gangs have demon­strat­ed the capac­i­ty and will to tran­si­tion into one pow­er­ful Militia if the moti­va­tion is strong and lucra­tive enough.
Surely this Government and the one it suc­ceed­ed, have learned noth­ing from the events of 2010.
I am lit­er­al­ly cer­tain that they did not con­sult with a sin­gle senior per­son in the Police Department, to get their input or ideas and or con­cerns regard­ing how these sta­tions are to be con­fig­ured and retro­fit­ted. You know, since they are the ones who have the lived expe­ri­ences?
Apart from the fact that there seems to be noth­ing in that large allo­ca­tion for the offi­cers them­selves, the Government seems hell-bent on in its desire to avoid real­i­ty and con­tin­ue on a break­neck pace to do every­thing oppo­site of whats required.

Just two days ago, dur­ing Easter, on the Island of Sri Lanka mil­i­tants attacked hotels and places of wor­ship with bombs. Over 300 peo­ple were mur­dered.
Over the years Jamaica’s police sta­tions have been attacked and pep­pered with auto­mat­ic weapons fire. Police sta­tions have been burned and offi­cers killed in the process.
These attacks came after threats against the lives of the police but more sin­is­ter, after heav­i­ly armed thugs have made the deci­sion to take up arms against the state.
It is against this back­ground that the Government has decid­ed to embark on a process of cre­at­ing police sta­tions which will fur­ther place the lives of the nation’s police offi­cers in grave dan­ger under the guise of cre­at­ing cit­i­zen friend­ly spaces.
No deci­sion is made with the best inter­est of the peo­ple tasked in secur­ing the nation in mind.
The arro­gance of Horace Chang, and the oth­er pol­i­cy­mak­ers is pal­pa­ble. The bla­tant dis­re­gard for best prac­tices and for­ward think­ing is astound­ing.

It is not the most ide­al sit­u­a­tion but it is nec­es­sary, police sta­tions must be con­fig­ured with offi­cer safe­ty in mind over all else.
It is incom­pre­hen­si­ble that these politi­cians could be so brain-dead and utter­ly dis­re­spect­ful of the rights and secu­ri­ty of the police, that they would embark on such a project of this mag­ni­tude with­out first estab­lish­ing what will be the needs of the police going into the future.
This is not just an issue of dis­re­spect of the police. It tran­scends that. Not only will it place the lives of offi­cers in grave dan­ger it fur­ther com­pli­cates the nation’s del­i­cate eco­nom­ic sit­u­a­tion as changes will need to be made lat­er after attacks and killings occur in their own sta­tion­hous­es, as it is sure to hap­pen.
The state­ments attrib­uted to Horace Chang above sounds real­ly good but those sen­ti­ments are rep­re­sen­ta­tive of a time past, half a cen­tu­ry ago.
The idea of state of the art facil­i­ties designed as mod­ern office spaces, are reflec­tive a more tran­quil time when peo­ple were not enter­ing police sta­tions and shoot­ing police offi­cers and burn­ing police sta­tions.
This is not state of the art idea, it is, state of the past débâ­cle.
Creating appro­pri­ate accom­mo­da­tions for the pub­lic is noble, but it is clear that none of the delib­er­a­tions (if any) or con­sid­er­a­tions are done with the most impor­tant peo­ple, the human ele­ment in mind.

In the United States when you walk into most police sta­tions you have to inter­act with an offi­cer using an inter­com sys­tem. After they are sat­is­fied that you are not there to mur­der them, they decide on how you enter the facil­i­ty and is ush­ered to where you need to get to.
Say what you want but this is not where we are com­ing from it is where we are going.
Except in Jamaica, it seems where the tail always wags the Dog.

These are not inci­dents of abstrac­tion, they are real and present inci­dents which are reflec­tive of a chang­ing envi­ron­ment.
In 2016 shots were fired at two police sta­tions in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s North District. Indiana is not known as a state in which there a hotbed of resent­ment against police.
Nevertheless, that did not pre­vent assailants from open­ing fire at two sep­a­rate facil­i­ties. 

Hannah Town Police sta­tion burned 2010

After the shoot­ings, a large group of pub­lic offi­cials gath­ered in sup­port of the police. Officials sug­gest­ed then that the shoot­ings could be in retal­i­a­tion for a recent crack­down on drug deal­ers.
When police sta­tions are attacked in Jamaica, no pub­lic offi­cial turn up in sup­port of the police, even in cas­es where offi­cers are shot and killed.
No respect is paid to their sac­ri­fice and the despi­ca­ble frauds who pose as lead­ers dis­hon­or them by not even show­ing up to pay respects to their hon­or.

The entrance to the police sta­tion in the wake of the attack in
Leipzig Germany

It is not too much to ask that the nation’s lead­ers begin to show respect to law enforce­ment offi­cers. The pol­i­cy­mak­ers are not above the laws and they deserve not one ounce of def­er­ence not giv­en to the police.
The coun­try will be embark­ing on a process of build­ing a new Parliament build­ing soon, every pre­cau­tion will be made to secure it so that the 63 bums who sit in the low­er house and those in the upper cham­ber, of both polit­i­cal gangs, are secure.
If the police can­not be secure in their places of work the par­lia­ment build­ing should be no more secure than a police sta­tion is.
Politicians of both polit­i­cal gangs should be exposed to the very same degree of dan­ger, so that gun­shots can burn their skins as it does the aver­age Jamaican.
This is an out­rage.….