Will The JCF Learn From These Teachable Moments?

If you ever donned the uni­form of a police offi­cer, you know what it feels like to see, or hear of a col­league get­ting cut down in a hail of bul­lets. You feel some­thing only the slain offi­cer’s fam­i­ly mem­bers feel, because the police fra­ter­ni­ty is a fam­i­ly.
That is not to say that con­sci­en­tious mem­bers of the gen­er­al pub­lic do not feel the sor­row we feel at these killings, it is just dif­fer­ent.
The once-revered con­cept of Esprit de corps encap­su­lat­ed that cama­raderie that those who place their lives on the line feel toward each oth­er.
It comes not from any sin­is­ter dark place with mal-intent to cov­er wrongs, it comes from the knowl­edge that the per­son next to you is entrust­ed to pro­tect and defend my life with his or hers.
It is a sacred trust that we all placed in each oth­er.

Over the years the insti­tu­tion of polic­ing has suf­fered immense­ly as a result of neg­a­tive pub­lic­i­ty, much of it earned, some of it unwar­rant­ed.
Today, the police are under­go­ing more scruti­ny as a result of bad actors. In the United States and oth­er coun­tries, get­ting peo­ple to focus on the nobil­i­ty of the dis­ci­pline is even more dif­fi­cult to do in this dis­tort­ed envi­ron­ment.
As police across the globe fall short of their own goals to serve and pro­tect, cit­i­zens are more and more divorced from empathiz­ing with police offi­cers.

Notwithstanding, those of us who serve/​served are sig­nif­i­cant­ly impact­ed when offi­cers are cut down in ser­vice to the pub­lic.
As a for­mer offi­cer of the JCF who was shot in the line of duty, I under­stand all too well the chal­lenges our offi­cers face, par­tic­u­lar­ly in a coun­try like Jamaica.
Even with the best equip­ment and train­ing, remu­ner­a­tions, and sup­port, noth­ing can ful­ly pro­tect police offi­cers from the dan­gers that come with the job.
With inad­e­quate remu­ner­a­tions, poor and out­dat­ed train­ing, & a lack of full gov­ern­men­tal sup­port, Jamaican police offi­cers are at dou­ble the risk, dou­ble the expo­sure & at dou­ble the per­il if they make a mis­take.

SP Leon Clunis

As we grieve the loss of two offi­cers, and the seri­ous injury suf­fered by two oth­ers, includ­ing Superintendent Leon Clunis, lessons must be learned from this sad event.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force can hard­ly depend on gov­ern­ment, regard­less of which par­ty forms the gov­ern­ment. As such, it is crit­i­cal that these events are used by the depart­ment to devel­op best prac­tices to change how the depart­ment does busi­ness.
I have con­sis­tent­ly argued that the train­ing that our police offi­cers are receiv­ing is not near­ly up to stan­dard, and in par­tic­u­lar, is insuf­fi­cient for the chal­lenges Jamaican police offi­cers face.
Of crit­i­cal import is the way the depart­ment oper­ates in stops and starts, and gets into val­leys of com­fort­a­bil­i­ty when there is wane in seri­ous inci­dences.

Police depart­ments can ill afford to rest on their lau­rels. The job of devel­op­ing new tech­niques and strate­gies is crit­i­cal if they are to be on par with the crim­i­nal under­world, much less be steps ahead of them.
Under no cir­cum­stance should the police let down their guard, that goes for senior offi­cers of the force, many of whom go out in that kha­ki uni­form and pre­tend that gun­shots are repelled by the uni­form.
Some senior cops go out with­out a weapon and in some case are seen with a swag­ger cane, no actu­al accou­ter­ments of the trade.….…..I am yet to under­stand what uni­verse they are liv­ing in.


Do mem­bers of the gazetted ranks believe they are no longer police offi­cers? Or do they think that their senior­i­ty sta­tus insu­lates them from harm? I make no judg­ments about what went down at that house in Horizon Park, on that fate­ful morn­ing, suf­fic­ing to say that what­ev­er tact those offi­cers took should become a part of the police train­ing man­u­al’s what not to do.

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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