THE EDITOR: Can you imagine our beautiful country without a legitimate police organisation? Having no police to report accidents to? No highway patrol? No police to settle disputes?
While we express a sense of comfort when we see an increased police presence, there are those who choose to condemn or criticise the entire TTPS. But there are many more reasons to support it than there are to condemn it.
Think of the police who risk their lives on a daily basis, law-abiding citizens who are targeted without provocation and need assistance, and the many police who carry out their duties regardless of the few unscrupulous cops.
Over the years there have been many good police who were killed senselessly while trying to protect and serve. None can forget the young officer who tried to assist the UWI student to recover his stolen cell phone; the off-duty cop who was killed in the Chinese restaurant when he tried to stop an armed robbery; or the policeman who was shot outside the prison during a daring escape.
There are so many more that it brings tears to the eyes of those who see the fathers, sons, uncles, brothers, or grandsons behind those bloodied uniforms.
And what about the victims whose only goal is to provide a comfortable life for their families? Those with obvious political aspirations are always quick to express concern over the manner in which the police carry out their duties, but criminals never cared to learn magic words like “please” or “thank you.”
The political aspirants should instead show concern for the wives whose husbands were snatched away while trying to earn an honest day’s pay; or the mothers whose sons were murdered for their vehicles or other possessions, and whose daughters were raped and strangled because they refused unwanted advances.
Yes, I implore them to direct their concerns to those who did not ask to have their lives drastically changed forever; some unable to recover from the living nightmare.
It’s clear that there are bad seeds in the TTPS, but there are bad seeds in every organisation, whether private or public. There are even bad seeds in your own family. Disclaimers published in the newspapers from time to time by various companies can attest to this regardless of the internal measures and control systems in place.
Yet, this does not deter others from carrying out their duties with integrity, in spite of the temptations. Everyone has free will, so making the right or wrong decision is a choice. If you can say with confidence there are no bad seeds in your own family or circle of friends, then give yourself a pat on the back.
TT is a beautiful place, with beautiful people and beautiful sites that can compare to any internationally, and can certainly be a paradise for those who live here. But it must not be turned into a fool’s paradise, where we make baseless statements because we think that’s what would be popular. Even some prominent people in society seem to be falling prey to this for whatever attention they think it would bring.
This is not to say we should blindly support everything that’s thrown at us. But when we raise our voices, they must not be mere utterances, but contribute to the greater good. Those looking in from a distance always seem to have the answers to everything, but funny how opinions soon change when they end up in the hot seat and are faced with the facts and red tape.
So whenever you are tempted to criticise the TTPS, think of a state where there is none to begin with, and what the outcome of that would be.
VASHTI BOWLAH via e-mail