[OPINIONS]:::Shame and disgrace on the JCF

No. 51 Monday, February 08, 2010
[POSTED BY::: Anthony Barrett]
Jamaica has suffered another black eye locally and in the international community as news releases continues to allege a police sergeant who works at the Jamaica Constabulary force armory is among ten persons held and charged with the illegal possession of 19 decommissioned JCF high powered weapons and ten thousand rounds of ammunition.

    It is almost certain that the discovered cache was destined for sale on the streets of Jamaica where they would feed the incessant blood lust of powerful dons and young thugs who are seemingly devoid of human compassion.
    To say that corruption is rife in every aspect of the Jamaican society would be the understatement of not only the year but the decade, it is a given that we are a corrupt society, we are so dishonest that Transparency International; the global anti-corruption watchdog; has downgraded us to the point where we are listed among the upper percentile of the most corrupt countries in the world to do business in. Therefore, as Jamaicans we ought to be or think we should
be hardened against shocking charges of criminality and corruption in any Jamaican institution, but this one is mind and body numbing, it is crippling in light of last year's record high murder statistic.
    Last Thursday's illegal gun find and subsequent closure of the JCF's armory and its other related weapons storage facilities across Jamaica for auditing by an outside agency gives credence to the long held view by many in the inner city and hardscrabble communities; which experience most of the murders; that the police are often facilitators
of criminality. While there is a gun for drugs criminal conspiracy between criminal gangs from Haiti and Jamaica the discovery of this arsenal will help to debunk the belief that
our misery lies in the unchecked reservoir of high powered guns in Haiti. Obviously the JCF's armory has been used to further exacerbate our murder rate, diminish our sense of security and undermine our trust in the police force. One wonders how many lives have been lost to guns and bullets sold by criminal cops; certainly this sergeant isn't the first
to cross the line.
    According to information gleaned, this is not the first time that both police and civilian employees at the JCF armory have been charged with theft of and illegal possession of
guns and ammunition, this begs the questions, how often are audits conducted? Who has oversight of the auditors? Are the JCF's inventory filed electronically? Is there electronic accounting for all weapons and ammunitions which are with the various police weapons and ammunition storage facilities
island wide? It will be interesting to see after the audit of stocks at the armory and other storage facilities how many weapons and rounds of ammunition are missing, how many
senior officers are held accountable and charged criminally. Already the cynics among us are saying the sarge will be the fall guy, the JCF will close ranks, there will be a cover up because if the truth comes out it will have massive repercussions and many who are now of influence will have to answer for prior misdeeds which could become career enders.
    Opposition spokesman on crime, Peter Bunting, has charged that the amount of weapons found numbers up to sixty, Bunting is not a man prone to hyperbole or mischief
making therefore he would not make such damning an assertion publicly if there were no evidence pointing to such a large illegal cache of weapons.
    A source from a respectable international organization which has been monitoring the JCF, its high command and operations puts the numbers even higher, whether its nineteen as the JCF claims, sixty as Bunting claims or more as my source indicates, to assemble such frightening an arsenal of weapons the sarge would need collaborators both higher and lower than he in rank, they too must be found and charged.
    Dwight Nelson the National Security Minister, Acting Commissioner Owen Ellington and others of the JCF top brass must be forthright and tell the nation the truth about
the magnitude of the find and how high up the chain of command this thing goes, they will have to pull out all the stops and nail all connected to this egregious breach of national

   Commissioner Ellington has been 'gifted' an opportunity to clean up the force, to stamp his anti-graft, anti-corruption imprimatur on both the police force and the wider society, he could accomplish what Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin attempted to do in the .JCF but was stonewalled at every turn by the same JCF upper brass, he should seize the opportunity
by acting decisively, this cannot be allowed to be another nine day uptown verandah talk then go away, disappear off the radar like other embarrassing police breaches have done in the past, heads should roll, the police are here to serve and protect us, not to contribute to or profit from our misery.
    There are many clean decent and honest men and women in the JCF and ISCF, they should not have their reputations sullied by a few criminals in uniform, those who put their
lives on the line daily for our security shouldn't have their authority questioned because of the criminal behavior of a few. Make no mistake, the few is not consigned to lower ranking police officers only, many high ranking officers are alleged to be dirty, they too have brought shame and disgrace on the JCF when they sell the powers of their office.
    According to my source with the international organization many prominent names in the JCF have been accused in the court of public opinion, they have been tried and convicted because of their known friendly associations with criminals and smugglers, had Jamaica been a Barbados with its strict adherence to the code of justice many senior police officers would have been sent home in the nation's interest. Those are troubling allegations but like most Jamaicans I too have heard the names and convincing evidence but
such charges would not make it to court; I suspect many witnesses would disappear in numbers which, given our population, would make the number of Argentines who
disappeared at the hands- of corrupt generals in their dirty war pale in comparison. Do we have the stomach for such an eventuality?
    Convicted police inspector Harry Bundles Daley and this sergeant could be the tip of the iceberg if we as a nation, have the moral and political will to say, enough is enough, go home we no longer wish to be associated with you. Yet that too is fraught with danger, we would have no assurance that these rouge elements who have been trained by the JCF won't turn their illegal guns and training against the populace, I guess we are damned if we do and damned if we don't.
    It is common knowledge that despite one's brilliance one does not advance up the JCF's chain of command or get plum assignments without a rabbi, it is alleged that the sergeant charged is the poster boy for a public relations ad campaign touting a new and different police force, I wonder who his rabbi was? Such an ad campaign would have cost the nation millions of dollars, it will have to be scrapped or reworked with someone else replacing the now disgraced sarge, there goes another glaring example of more waste of our tax dollars.
    While there is yet no evidence of a conspiracy, I wish to play the devil's advocate, was the sergeant involved with any political party, organized civilian criminal gang or criminal group in the JCF? Could the rabbi if he or she exists; be involved in that nefarious, venal and treacherous act? Could the sergeant be the bagman for a Mr. Big who has guided the career of a trusted underling? How long has the sarge been a member of the JCF? How long has he been at Elleston Road? Where else was he assigned for duty before going
to Elleston Road? Has he ever been in trouble? If so, who of a higher rank have interceded on his behalf? These are all questions that will have to be answered. Peace.

No comments:

Post a Comment