EDITOR, The Tribune.
I am honored that you have given me this opportunity to say thank you to the Commissioner and the officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force for all that they do.
Almost every day, every newspaper’s headline is ablaze with stories of serious crimes.
Murder, armed robbery, and rape.
And while there has been a noticeable increase in crimes, especially murder, it does not take away from the hard work our dedicated officers do.
But to listen to some people, you would think the police are the enemy.
The Minister of Defence Wayne Munroe was right on point in his portrayal of how an unkind public view and treat our police officers.
While we understand and sympathise with those suffering the loss of loved ones due to unfortunate occurrences, let us consider the policeman’s predicament when faced with these dire situations.
What are they supposed to do when fearful for their lives?
“The job of a police officer is one that demands a one-hundred-and-ten percent effort, one-hundred percent of the time. But for some officers, the contributions made in the line of duty are immeasurable.”
In recent times police officers have come under a lot of pressure. Some are hated vehemently. (Can you imagine being hated for doing your job? Like issuing a traffic violation ticket), while others have received minimal thanks for their service and have to watch their backs more.
A few may even question putting on the uniform at the start of a shift.
However, during a conversation with a police friend, he told me.
“You never question putting on the uniform. This is your job. This is what you swore to do, and if you have lost your desire to be a part of the institution, you should resign because you would only put the lives of others at risk.
Before moving on, I would like to take a moment to point out that besides being under-appreciated, they are also misunderstood.
Several years ago, around 11pm after leaving work, I was driving past Montagu Beach and saw a police car with flashing lights pulled to the side of the road behind a private vehicle. There were several persons gathered around.
As I approached the scene, people were swearing at and bad-mouthing the policemen because three young men were lying face down on the ground.
The officers calmly went to the vehicle (stolen) and took out ski masks gloves, a cutlass, and a high-powered loaded gun showed them to the noise that went silent immediately.
In the wake of what they are faced with daily, police officers do not receive the gratitude and thanks they deserve. I grew up surrounded by policemen and have a lot of friends on the force. I have seen the job’s impact on them, and I know what they put their families through.
So to all the officers, I say thank you.
Thank you for putting the country that you serve above your family. It takes courage and professionalism to do what you are doing to protect your community.
Police give up holidays, birthdays, and family gatherings. They give up going to school events, sports, and games. When duty calls, they drop everything and respond. They give up on so much of their family life to serve and protect us.
Thank you to their families for allowing them to do their jobs.
Thank you for risking your life for mine. Every time they put that uniform on, they put my safety above theirs. They will do anything to make sure that no one gets hurt.
Every time they leave home for another shift, they are not guaranteed to return home. But they still answer every call and do what it takes to rescue a child in danger or end a potentially deadly situation.
A police officer can handle the pressure to make the best decision at that moment. Not many people can knowingly put their lives in danger as these men and women do.
It takes a brave person to deal with the things they do daily.
As in most sectors of society, there is a marginal minority that tends to bring the institution it represents into ill repute;
Unfortunately, now and then, one or two of our men who have sworn to serve and protect might fall into this category.
Commissioner taking into consideration the circumstances of your inheritance. It is my belief you are doing a good job.
There are so many police officers that go far beyond the call of duty, doing their jobs the best they can. They all deserve to hear a “thank you” because now more than ever their job and their work is under-appreciated.
So to every police officer out there, thank you for everything you do. Thank you for making that choice to protect and serve. Thank you for doing what many of us aren’t brave enough to do.
Thank you, officers BK and Fernander. Congratulations on your well-deserved promotions.
Thank you, officers Jones, Dean, Deacon Lotmore and Missick.
Thank you for keeping us safe. May the good Lord bless and keep you safe.
I believe, while Minister Munroe’s statement was directed at the public in general, I could hear the concern for our youth in his voice, and I can imagine him saying the following:
“Young man, how many more of you must die before It is your turn. How much longer will you be a prisoner of your fears who could only move around cloaked by the cover of darkness?
How much longer will you have to sleep with a gun under your head, and one eye opened. How many bullets will you escape before the marksman finds its target before you become another statistic?
How much longer before you are sentenced to spend the rest of your lives locked away behind bars in a dungeon removed from society?
There must be a better way. Make a quick 180 degrees turn before it is too late.
Contrary to what you have been made to believe, you are loved. We care, we do.
Minister, you have been placed in an unenviable position. The road ahead for you is not an easy one, but already you are proving you are more than capable of handling the tasks at hand.
You have our support.
God bless our Royal Bahamas Police Force
God bless the Bahamas.
January 16, 2022.