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'Police Officers Should Put Country First'

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Bishop Simeon Hall

POLICE officers should put the good of the country above their own interests and give full support to the new 12-hour work shift policy, a group of pastors said yesterday.

Their comments followed the revelation by Police Staff Association (PSA) chairman Dwight Smith that more than a month into the emergency anti-crime surge, officers working longer shifts with no compensation are feeling abused and abandoned.

The pastors said: “The current project headed by Commissioner Greenslade and the police force, which calls for police persons to work 12-hour work shifts, is having a noticeable positive impact on crime.

“All reservations expressed about this programme have proven wrong and we want to commend all members of the police force and offer pastoral services should any family issues arise from these extended hours.

“We call on all members of the Police Association to ‘place country above self’ and go the extra mile in their duties.”

However, the pastors went on to say the government must do all it can to see that hardworking policemen and women who place their lives on the line each day are adequately remunerated.

“We pray the decline in murders continues and we also pray that prosecutors will match the arrest of criminals with convictions,” the statement added.

Last week, PSA chairman Smith wrote a letter to Prime Minister Perry Christie requesting a meeting to discuss compensation for officers who were put on a 12-hour shift in early September in an attempt to get crime under control.

While speaking with The Tribune as he walked on Bay Street, Mr Smith was interrupted by the wife of a police officer who said: “You need to take the officers off the 12-hour shifts.”

“I’m doing all that I can. Be strong, we trying,” he replied.

But moments later another woman, a police officer, interrupted him and said: “We tired.”

“I know y’all tired, we ga fix that,” he replied.

“I’m out on the streets,” he remarked, “and I’m constantly being met by spouses and police officers telling me I need to take the officers off this 12-hour shift.”

Mr Smith said officers deserve to be “treated like human beings.”

He added that he will comply with labour regulations and give the Ministry of Finance two weeks to outline what compensation the government will give officers.

The pastors’ statement was signed by: Bishop Simeon Hall of New Covenant Baptist Church, Rev Dr Shelton Higgs of New Lively Hope Baptist Church, Bishop Roston Davis of Golden Gates Assembly, Pastor Dean Wells of Pentecostal Church of Faith in God, Bishop Victor Cooper of New Bethany Baptist Cathedral, Bishop Gregory Minnis of New Jerusalem Ministries, Pastor Philemon Wilson of Faith Temple Ministries and Rev Dr Philip McPhee of Mt Calvary Baptist Cathedral.

Comments

larry 9 months, 1 week ago

this is an insult by Bishop Hall whenever a police officer dawns his uniform they are indeed putting the country first i personally know a police officer who was killed in the line of duty he was not thinking of himself when he made the ultimate sacrifice for the service of his country he left his family behind but everyone forgot this is indeed a thankless job but i guess someone will say he was paid to be killed God watch over them and our country.

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ThisIsOurs 9 months, 1 week ago

Unless it's your husband or wife then I'd suspect you'd be battling for them.

Crime needs to be controlled yes, I don't know if this is the most effective way, I still see murders being reported so it's not an end-all strategy... and who knows what rapes and robberies are being hidden from us. (I was blind sided by the Nassau Village serial rapist a few days ago). It's a given that the police can't operate on these shifts indefinitely...so what's the plan?

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UserOne 9 months, 1 week ago

I agree this is an insulting and patronizing stance that the clergymen have taken. Shame on them. They should be more supportive of the police who put their lives on the line to protect us. As I've said before, tired police officers on duty is not a good plan. Come up with another one and give our officers a break.

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JohnDoe 9 months, 1 week ago

Rev. Hall taught me in school and I always respected his intellect but lately he has made some statements that are nothing short of silly for lack of a more descriptive word. I would think by making a choice to become a police officer these brave men and women have put their country first. Quite a few of them can do much better financially by moving to the private sector. From where I stand this is not an issue of further sacrifice, this is an issue of equity and fairness. These officers are human beings with children, families and other issues, like worrying about how to pay BEC, just like the rest of us. They are not robots put on this earth just to serve our selfish whims and protect our material possessions. Would Rev. Hall and these "godly" men exhort their children or their wives to do what they are asking these officers to do. For that matter, why are these "godly" men not practicing what they preach and put their country first. All of them are probably the wealthiest persons in their congregations. Why don't these "godly" men asks our politicians to go on 12 hour shifts and put the country first because there is no other group that take so much from the Bahamian people and give so little back.

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bismark 9 months, 1 week ago

I think we have to give the police our support,despite the negativity surrounding the 12 hour shift,i know it is a difficult time for those officers who have thier own familes as well,but i think so far we have seen a decrease in major crimes,we must give credit for that,but if this 12 hours is burning out the men,it is obvious what the problem is,manpower,hire more officers,at least 400 that should be a good boost to the force,we need it,times have changed the population has grown tremendously,3000 officers is just not sufficient,we need more police,but hats off to all the hard working officers,you are doing your best,keep up the good work.

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Kalikgold 9 months, 1 week ago

Rory you know and I know that you dont work 20 hours a day. lol. When do you find time to comment on every article!?

Now my 2 cents, 12 hrs aint bad as long as their compensated for it. Simply find those who are interested in working the "extended shift" and those who are not; let them go home to their spouses or sweethearts. But on the same token, we all know some of them already dont do anything on an eight hour shift. Maybe its time to recruit some new serious young people. And fire them lazy and corrupt ones. Problem solved.

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UserOne 9 months, 1 week ago

Kalikgold, "..we all know some of them already don't do anything on an eight hour shift". This is the kind of inflammatory statement that is not supportive and if I was a police officer would not boost my morale and help me to keep up these 12 hour shifts that so many people appear to be thankless for.

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JohnDoe 9 months, 1 week ago

@UserOne I totally agree. From some of the comments it appears that some people believe that civil servant means personal servants. Without any apparent gratitude for the sacrifices these officers are already making by putting their lives on the line for us we speak disparagingly of them as if they are wholly dispensable. Yet when we hear a noise outside our house at night, we hide in our closet and call them to protect our families.

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banker 9 months, 1 week ago

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

The clergymen are all asses. Simeon Hall called himself a bishop when his church didn't even have the post of bishop. Most of the clergy are in it for the money and the slack job (and the collection basket contents). If Jesus were alive, he would beat them with sticks and drive them out of churches.

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SP 9 months, 1 week ago

The problem with Mr. Hall and the rest of the clergy is they are all total political prostitutes that cannot be trusted to give an unbiased opinion based on facts.

Who can ever forget prior to last election when the christian counsel had Hubert Ingraham going from pillow to post with-in their congregations telling us of his "superior leadership experience". Not with standing that he couldn't even pronounce the word "experience"!

Bottom line here is there is no question that more time from police is needed to deal with ever increasing levels of crime.

However, these officers should also be properly compensated for their time and efforts.

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ThisIsOurs 9 months, 1 week ago

Your point is well taken, they are working tactically instead of strategically, that's the same problem I see with this 12hour shift, it's a do-something-to-do-something approach as opposed to identifying what will have the greatest impact and then doing that.

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proudloudandfnm 9 months, 1 week ago

Does anyone actually listen to this sheister anymore? I so hate these so called pastors meddling in our country's affairs. Just go sit in the corner and shut up.

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