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Top cop calls for divine intervention

Monday, November 20, 2017

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LIKE those before him having similar interests and responsibilities for the country's security, Commissioner of Police George Quallo yesterday called for the divine help of the church in the fight against crime, as murders gallop past the 1,400 mark.

Quallo, who was speaking at the Jamaica Constabulary Forces' (JCF) 150th Commemorative and Memorial Church Service at Church of the Open Bible, Washington Boulevard in St Andrew, said that as the nation grapples with crime and violence, it is critical that substantive partnerships are secured and sustained to rebuild and maintain safer communities.

“As an invaluable partner, against crime and violence, we call on the church and its members to help us to help people to examine the choices they are making. Congregation members, as the commissioner of police, I am your humble servant who directs an 11,000-strong police force, but neither I nor my members can do it alone. Yours is also a pivotal role in crime prevention and we crave your partnership if we are to be successful in combating and ultimately rid Jamaica, land we love, of this scourge that plagues us.

“Help us to help our people refocus their thoughts, words and deeds. Help us to reach out and transform lives, breaking the destructive stronghold that violence has on our society. Indeed, it is important that we recognise that our fundamental duty is to serve each other and we appreciate the church for partnership with us in fulfilling this,” Quallo told those in attendance.

His remarks followed similar ones by former Minister of National Security Peter Bunting, who controversially said: “The best efforts of the security forces, by itself, will not solve the crime problem in Jamaica; it is going to take divine intervention, touching the hearts of a wide cross-section of the society.”

As at November 17, 1,404 lives have been snuffed out. This is in comparison to the 1,137 people murdered last year over the same period. This represents an increase of 267 or 23.5 per cent.

Faced, too, with the unfortunate problem of having 500 officers leave the JCF annually, Quallo reminded cops that their journey was about empowering unattached, unmotivated youths to make something of themselves, and that it was about facilitating citizens' activism towards their community safety.

“It's about helping to position Jamaica as a standard-bearer on international issues such as human rights, child protection and national security. We must realise how great our role is and step up to ensure our country becomes the place of choice to live, work, raise families, and do business.

“Colleagues, we're still a work in progress, but the Lord's mercy and grace will help us to make it through. As law officers, we serve regardless of race, colour, creed or sexual orientation. We must do our jobs without favour or affection, malice or ill will. We must practise tolerance and serve with respect to the rights of all.

“We must remain vigilant as we pursue our goals as an organisation, and protection of the nation. Remember, we are the JCF, proud and strong for 150 years, committed to our fundamental duty to serve mankind, to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression and moving forward. It is my belief that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us,” the police commissioner said.

— Kimone Francis

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