Tough times demand tough decisions

Dear Editor,

There have been a handful of recent media reports of poor police response during the commission of serious crimes. Traumatized victims complain of phones ringing unanswered, and the police turning up sometimes 30 minutes, sometimes 45 minutes after notification. This is unacceptable; this cannot be allowed to continue.

If there are glitches with the phone system, fix them and fix them now. If the excuse is lack of transportation or personnel, no one is interested. Where there are holdovers (and there are) with yesterday’s mentalities and yesterday’s professionalism, these must be disciplined, if not dismissed. Let the protective, self-serving wall of silence be dismantled; let the chips fall.

The Commissioner and Minister must make public reference to action taken and public examples of those guilty of practising sloth, undermining confidence, and sabotaging the approaches and visions of a new day. Do this for the greater good and after due process.

Now it is suspected that many in the force are neither impressed with nor enamoured of the new administration’s interest in the delivery of a professional, integrity-based service to the public. Credible reports circulate of stonewalling, bureaucratizing, and thwarting, in many cunning ways, of government’s priorities and thrusts. It must be said that this is not the exclusive preserve of the police force, but extends to many troubling patches (maybe swaths) in the larger public service.

It is ironic that a traditional, still existing, support base of the current ruling apparatus is not now galvanized into action to assist it in delivering on its promises, and make it look good in the process. Perhaps, it might be argued, too much was lost with the electoral losers. In other words, the good old days were too rewarding, and the new day is too ethically stringent and financially barren at the individual levels.

Whatever the reasoning of those insistent on perpetuating perversities, a strong hand and a ‘face set like flint’ are both needed to remedy the overall situation, whenever and wherever such exists. Zero tolerance gains much more traction in practice. Heads and bodies provide enduring examples, and enough deterrent to encourage the changing of ways.

As for the police, which represent but one area of societal concern and individual unease, I suggest that the expense of dash cams and body cams be seriously considered a worthwhile and timely investment. Think of the return in the corruption fight. Estimate the boost to citizens’ confidence. And appreciate the anxieties unleashed in other public service environments, as tricksters ponder what could be coming their way to expose them.

Editor, it must be recognized that there has been near total breakdown of most that is right and that matters at every level in this nation. It is not hopelessness, but plain lawlessness and an arrogant disregard by too many for any standards. The tide has to be turned, sanity restored, decency recovered. Citizens must speak out, object, and confront, if this place is to stand a scintilla of a chance at rehabilitation. All of the caring and conscientious must do their part unflinchingly and resolutely. Neither look nor expect anything of the next person, or government to fix everything.

If this nation is going to progress and realize the visions articulated, it cannot do so through political correctness, or avoidance of thorny issues, or delay challenging the resistant. Tough times demand tough decisions, and tougher actions. That time is now.

Yours faithfully,

GHK Lall

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