There are very good lessons to be learned from taking the time to look closely at nature. As humans, we are merely one of the many species which inhabits this planet, however, those of us who refuse to adapt to changes happening around us generally do poorly and may eventually become extinct.
If ever there was a police department which should dot every (i’) and cross evert (T’), that department would be the Jamaica Constabulary Force(JCF).
As a result of its own actions, the JCF gave itself INDECOM and has continued to bleed competent people, much the same way that the country on a broader scale, has not found a way to retain it’s best and brightest.
Whether we are in the digital age or not, police officers are professionals and they should act like it. Today people are more intent on videotaping police than criminals. Many will argue the lines between the two are sometimes indistinguishable. I tend to agree.
Police, however, have strict rules and protocols which they should follow. When they follow those rules they have nothing to fear from citizens who choose to videotape their actions, this new reality is part of the landscape and police officers must adjust to it.
When officers follow strict protocols those very same videos are exculpatory. I have always said that the greatest asset a police officer has is knowledge of the laws he is enforcing. Strict adherence to protocols is germane to being safe and insulated from criminal and civil liabilities.
When police officers do not follow simple protocols bad things happen.
And so they did, in that case in Western Kingston a few days ago. Regardless of the reasons that the police decided to arrest Romaine Abrahams, there were enough officers on the scene to simply collar Abrahams and place him in handcuffs.
He was abusive, he was disrespectful, he resisted arrest, and he assaulted the officers, but all of that could have been avoided if officers acted decisively and professionally, by simply placing him in handcuffs quickly and decisively moving him from the scene.
Interestingly, there was a sub-officer on-scene eventually acting as peace-maker when he should have ordered the suspect cuffed from the start.
Jamaica is not the easiest place to be a police officer. Regardless of where an officer is stationed, he will be forced to deal with disrespectful, opinionated, ignorant, pompous and aggressive people. Officers must adjust by being deliberative, precise, no-nonsense, and they must follow protocol.
The media will not report the truth, they are in it for the sensational and salacious content, so the police should expect no objectivity from what exist as media there.
I am tired of hearing about how great the training is, and how officers are trained differently now. (As if differently equates to better)
Unfortunately, I haven’t seen that training manifested in their actions on the streets. Instead, what we see time and again, are cartoonish displays which makes one cringe and which are sure to land officers in hot water. In a country where police work is already hot water.
Mike Beckles is a former Jamaican police Detective corporal, a business owner, avid 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.
You may subscribe to his blogs free of charge, or subscribe to his Youtube channel @chatt-a-box, for the latest podcast all free to you of course.