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Senior cop urges colleagues to change the way they operate

BY TANESHA MUNDLE Observer staff reporter mundlet@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, February 17, 2014    

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SUPERINTENDENT Fitz Bailey yesterday urged fellow law enforcers to ensure they maintain good relations with residents in their respective divisions as the police will not succeed in the fight against crime without citizens' support.

Bailey, who is the commander for the St Andrew Central Division, said it is time for the police force to be seen as "friends of the community" right across Jamaica.

The senior crime fighter, who is also Bishop of the Bible Truth Church of God in Border, St Andrew, was giving a spirited sermon, clad in his police uniform, during the Area Four Division Church Service at the New Testament Church of God at Escarpment Road, August Town in Kingston.

"For too long we have been seen as an invading force; we have been seen as a repressive and oppressive force, and it's time for us to change the way we do things, as the people are our most outstanding resources and we cannot do policing without the various communities," he said.

The superintendent said the police have tried several measures but the time has come for the law enforcers to not only unite with the citizens, but also for each citizen to become cognisant of the fact that they too have a role to play in the fight against crime and violence.

"We are in a crisis and the responsibility is placed on the police. The police must provide the remedy for all social ills. It cannot work, every individual has a role. No longer can the police be the doctor, the priest, teachers, counsellors, pastors, every man has a responsibility," Bailey stressed.

"We have seen hundreds of people being killed every year, some by police and some by criminals, and we believe that there must be a change in which all of us see ourselves as partners and as stakeholders in the struggle to save Jamaica," he added. "What we are up against is a situation where if we do nothing Jamaica is going to fail."

Bailey in his spirited sermon also called for peace which he said his one key element in the fight against crime. However, he said, there will be no peace unless there is equality and justice for all Jamaicans.

The superintendent said there is too much segregation in the country and many people do not feel as if they are part of the society.

"We construct our communities in such a way that we put those down there, those who are from the plantation, we put them in a little corner and we keep them suppressed and we say nothing good can come out of there," he said. "We must not judge people by where they are from or their position in life. We must judge them by the content of their character."

Meanwhile, Bailey said the Peace for Champs initiative has already demonstrated the power of unity, as there were no reported acts of violence during the last school boys and girls championships. Country, he maintained, must now follow the example set by the youth.

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