EDITORIAL – We must first defend our defenders
COURAGE has become a rare commodity amongst us all; even rarer among our national leaders.Take the touchy-feely approach to the advocates of no flogging in schools; to the late arrivals at school; to the ZR culture; to loud music on public transport – to loud music period; to public littering; to red light breaking . . . . The list goes on.Few have the guts – often enough – to speak bluntly on what is required to resolve these burgeoning tribulations which law-abiding citizens must endure day in day out.Fewer yet have the boldness to identify publicly a national problem and speak of it as it is. That’s why – though no real comfort can be taken from the divulgence – we applaud Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin for his forthrightness in letting us know that “a significant number” of people applying to join our Police Force just don’t cut it.They are not of the quality that Commissioner Dottin wants – or that any force anywhere should accept really. More disturbing yet is Mr Dottin’s revelation that so many of these would-be recruits had been involved in illegal drug use.Now here’s some temerity: a drug abuser hoping to be a copper. Drat and double drat!When youth in a society begin to feel drug abuse is an innate liberty, flavour for the tasks ahead, a condiment for their expectations, we have to be fortified enough to reflect sufficiently and establish where we first went off the proper path.We may come right back to the point of turning a blind eye to the lack of discipline in schools; to the school truants; to the ZR road abusers; to the heart-rending bass boom on the ZRs and minibuses; to the tossing of cups and plastic bags through bus and car windows; to the rushing of the amber and red lights . . . . As to the better recruit not coming forward for the lack of a proper pay packet, the powers that be only have themselves to blame. A chief spokesman once said the police weren’t any special group and didn’t merit particular attention.We disagree. The police are not only special; they ought to be paid specially. The argument that those other public officers currently paid more would have to have their emoluments hiked as well is a non sequitur. Neither the would-be or rank-and-file cop can be expected to be enamoured of a $2 000 a month salary to “serve and protect” a nation that has within it now elements of growing hostility toward law and order, and other complexities hitherto unknown.And why should our protectors continue to be bruised and battered for the iniquities of others?Let’s see who amongst us is courageous enough – once and for all – to put right this grievous wrong.