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GUEST COLUMN: Much respect for Police Force


Rev. Gordan Matthews

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Some people believe that I have a soft spot for the Royal Barbados Police Force because of my defence of the force when I hear people condemning it.
It is true that I feel attached to the force as this goes back to my childhood. Our family home was the house next to District E Police Station.
The station was like my second home as my parents were very good friends of the many sergeants who lived on the premises in those days, and we knew all the policemen.
Inspections
When Colonel Dickens  came down in his car, M14, with the other inspectors to carry out periodical inspections, I would walk around with them. I would sleep in the cots of the policemen in the barracks, which were kept like the family quarters at Buckingham Palace, because much of my time was spent there.
Friends of the police would drop by to fire a Mount Gay with them. Those were great and happy days and there was little Gordon in the midst of them enjoying himself – wonderful company, healthy atmosphere.
Sure, the force, like any other institution or individual, has its problems but the broadside attacks on it are without foundation. The corruption to be found among religious leaders is unheard of among the members of the RBPF. The more I travel, the more I respect our force.
While talking to an eminent lawyer about our policemen, he said, although they are very poorly paid, there is little corruption. Yes, every now and then a bad egg is found out, but generally speaking we have a force which we can be proud of.
When it comes to public morality, our force is superior to that of the United States. When one considers the appalling conditions under which they have to work, their performance is magnificent.
Projects
We can throw away millions of dollars on questionable projects and institutions, like the constituency councils, but cannot find the money to pay our policemen a decent wage and provide congenial working conditions. We are now hearing that we are going to import foreigners as policemen.
This is the depths to which we have sunk. During my days as a child, our policemen had a good environment in which to work.
Even the horses’ stables were kept extremely clean and tidy. Sad to say, with the demise of the white command, the working conditions of our policemen deteriorated to the lowest level. Why? Because Blacks neither like nor have respect for other Blacks.
My stint at Glendairy Prison reinforced this in my mind. Facts are facts! The truth must be told.
People of Barbados, there are certain clandestine movements taking place to cause disharmony in the Judiciary, the Royal Barbados Police Force and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital which have me frightened.
I am frightened because of the consequences, and no such attacks have ever taken place before. Think on this question: Why was the contract of Sir David Simmons, an honourable and distinguished gentleman and judge, not extended and why was there such rejoicing at his going? I am frightened!
Let us pray. O myGod, in the name of Jesus Christ, either convert or remove certain personalities (political, religious and corporate) from office or we perish! I am frightened. Amen

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