A salute to Corporal Everald AllenTuesday, May 04, 2021
Bog Walk, like most rural towns in Jamaica, is blessed with friendly people. Similarly, though, the town is plagued by rampant indiscipline from motorists, mostly those who operate public passenger vehicles.
Almost every open space is used for parking, regardless of the municipal authority stating otherwise. Minibuses and taxis are regularly double-parked on the bridge, not far from the police station, and the operators can be seen walking up and down the road fetching passengers and obstructing the free flow of traffic.
However, every now and again order is evident in the town. Public passenger vehicles are in their designated areas and motorists drive through the town with ease. The source of this order is Corporal Everald Allen, a traffic cop who takes his responsibilities seriously and executes his duties professionally.
Corporal Allen, who has been in the police force for 28 years, has earned a reputation of being pleasant and firm, even with the most petulant motorists.
It would have been easy for him to park somewhere in the vicinity of the bridge and allow the time to pass until the end of his shift. However, you will see him writing traffic tickets for motorists who have earned them or cautioning others to toe the line.
An indication of his effectiveness is the fact that when he is on duty, word of his presence spreads quickly, thereby curtailing the type of death-wish driving — mostly by minibus and taxi drivers — that takes place in his absence.
It is no secret that there is a large percentage of Jamaicans who have no respect for the law, and those that govern use of the roads are no exception. Question is, what will it take to get motorists to discontinue ignoring the laws that are designed to make road use safe?
We know the answer, but some of us are just afraid and reluctant to say it — constant vigilance and stiff enforcement by those who have undertaken the demanding task of keeping us all safe.
There are more officers in the police force like Corporal Allen, who work every day to protect law-abiding Jamaicans from selfish, reckless, and suicidal motorists. The problem is that there are not enough of them.
Visit Bog Walk on Corporal Allen's day off and see the difference.
I salute you, Corporal Allen, and others like you in the Jamaica Constabulary Force. Police officers like you stand between the mayhem-makers and the decent road users.
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