Categorized | Editorials

Police on the Rebound

We are on all fours with Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade when he confesses: – “…When your public loses confidence in you then, of course, you are on very, very shaky ground…” The fact today is surely as follows: – The Police Force is on very shaky grounds!

In addition, there is today no doubting the fact that the Bahamian people – especially some of this land’s myriad of marginalized, stigmatized, least and lost and sometimes demonized men, women and children – are sick and tired of being abused by the police.

Enough is enough, they cry. For our part, the time is now for the police commissioner and his high command to be up and doing with cleansing the ranks of each and every psychotic officer; each and every thug who has enriched himself at the expense of the public at large.

In this regard, we are absolutely convinced that the time is now for a large bout of spring-cleaning in the police force; and so, we now call for the creation and establishment of a regime where each and every distinction now dividing criminals in uniform from their civilian counterparts should be swept away thus leveling the playing field in such a way that the public would be comforted in knowing that a thug is a thug is a thug, whether in a government uniform or not.

But mercifully, there is no doubt at all that there are in the ranks of the police force any number of true and good ‘soldiers’ who have what it takes to not only shore up this institution but who – between them – have both the tool-kits and mindsets needed to make the constabulary a more citizen-friendly instrument.

Today, we counsel each and every Bahamian who would willy-nilly subject the constabulary to broad-brush condemnation should take a breather, think deeply and thereafter understand that while there are clearly problems with some who are in the constabulary, there are also other police officers who are decent, hard-working and unflinchingly honest.

It is these officers who are doing their best to keep in line [or weed-out] all who would besmirch the good name of the police force. We support these officers and pray God’s grace and favor on their work. But even as we do so, we are also minded to insist that, Police Commissioner Ellison Greenslade should – as a matter of the most urgent priority – see to it that each and every officer in charge of a police field station is up to the challenge implicit in such a command.

More to the point we wish to make:- Each Officer in charge should be made to understand that they are responsible for each and everything that goes down under their command and that as such, they should not be surprised when they are called to give fuller account of their much vaunted stewardship.

This includes not only how they relate to the public at large; but also as regards how the men and women under their command deal with people in their protective custody — and so, today we continue – with the help of such officers – in the struggle to make the Bahamas a more beloved place. God willing, this struggle will continue; thus today’s recommendation that the time is now for each and every distinction pertaining between the citizen in uniform and others be disposed of and that, each and every Bahamian should be equally under the law whether for what they do or fail to do as they go about their work.

In addition, we renew our call for the police to be up and doing with seeing to it that each and every encounter between citizen and the police should be both audio and video- recorded.

This is imperative in a time when an entire generation of young Bahamians is not only being faced with an unprecedented crisis not only as regards jobs and money; but also one which finds itself beset with a set of circumstances that now threatens to undermine their confidence in the police.

In truth, there are so very many Bahamians who are teetering on the brink of throwing in the towel and therefore surrendering to the siren call either of drink and drugs; and then, there are all those other enraged Bahamians who believe that they could and should get over, regardless the pain and distress they cause others about them and thusly, some of the continuing problems and challenges for the police. In truth, the problems the police face mirror a broader set of challenges that must be met not only by them, but also by leadership in business and civil society.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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