Submitted by RUSERIOUS
Hello friends it is I once again. I have to tell you that I used to work as a volunteer counsellor with the Police Juvenile Scheme. It is a good initiative, and I made many friends. I believe that everyone has a chance in life and deserves a second chance. There’s not very many evil or bad to the core persons in Barbados, just some wayward youngsters causing a lot of aggravation. I digress, that’s a little about me, since I blog semi regularly, today’s topic is about the recent Front page news story relative to a Policeman being allegedly kicked in the family jewels by a teenager.
Most of us keep up with the news and courts and we see a lot of teenagers getting charged for robbery and all kinds of stuff. So I asked a buddy of mine in the Force, what’s with teenagers kicking your *ss now? The individual told me that Police still get a lot of respect from known criminals, persons with criminal history, and most adults, but he said you see those teenagers and young adults? They are the ones to be afraid of, they never come quietly, they almost always fight.
Well fine, Police gotta face the people who resist from time to time, so use non lethal force right? Well yeah if they had them. The crux of this matter is, the Force is short in man power, we know this for a fact, and it’s getting shorter each year, vacancies have been at 100 or more for as long as I can remember, so they aren’t getting a surplus of recruits vs people leaving.
The policeman (We’ll Call him John POPO) enlightened me that a lot of police are home injured. John said that within the last two to three years especially, that a large amount of police have been injured on duty struggling to restrain persons. He gave me a conservative figure at between 50-100 a year. He said very conservative. At least that maybe more. I said wow, so what type of injuries? Mostly minor non life threatening, but still you can’t do a police job with a broken finger right? In some cases he listed broken or sprained parts, like fingers, poked eyes, severe soft tissue injury (from being struck with an object or closed fist), head trauma, from being hit or kicked in the head etc etc…
He said all kinds of weird injures can happen to you especially your hands when trying to restrain people who are fighting kicking, screaming like wild animals. he said their injures speak for themselves.
He said their use of force policy is based on the UN policy which allows for firearm, baton, spray, Taser etc. He said the Force has them, but only the Special Unit carries them, the guys in blue… So it’s no wonder people respect them more, because I’d respect a guy a lot more too if he could shock me with 100,000 volts.
So I asked why don’t the normal uniform guys carry, the ones who come up on scenes first anyway? He said that they have the training, and some of the equipment, but not enough for everyone, so it hasn’t been issued to the normal patrolman.
I did some checking, I remember in 2004, there were pictures in the nation of the pepper spray and Taser which the present COP said would soon be issued to the average officer on patrol to give them other options rather than having to use a gun for everything. Then further down the road couple years later, 2007-2008 maybe? A policeman was struggling with a guy in the van stan over a scissors, he pulled his gun, and while struggling the gun went off and hit an innocent bystander who died, which was learned from the witness statements of those present to see.
Again after that incident more pictures of Tasers appeared in the paper with pepper spray and saying officers would be issued with them. Well it is now 2012 and still the task force are the only persons carrying them. Kinda weird isn’t it? I mean the task force travels around in jeeps with 4 guys in it carrying rifles, pepper spray, Tasers, and who knows what else. Then you’ve got Joe the patrol idiot riding around in pairs, with none of that stuff, and occasionally a gun… I would think you would give the officers at the numerical disadvantage, the gear, since 4 task force guys traveling around is pretty intimidating on its own.
So as the number of officers injuries piles up, the force gets shorter and shorter on man power. That guy in the motorcycle that crashed, he’s gone, he was chasing a guy who had a gun. The guy who got kicked in his precious groin he’s gone, well he’s gone for a few weeks at least. The three police who got beat up in city mall late last year, they are still out on injury.
I guess one can see how fast the number of injuries rack up and just how short on man power the force is. My thing is, they need to give the police things to protect themselves, if the present injury rate is allowed to increase or continue, then very soon police will be faced with two options, “no I won’t try to arrest that guy because I might get injured”… or they’ll keep trying and keep getting hurt and we’ll have five hundred policemen on injury leave.
People who argue against Tasers, have they really thought things through? I’d rather if I had a son giving the police trouble that they tased him rather than shot him. Less than 1% of people die from being tased. But how much you think die from being shot? So the argument is null and void. Gunshot is going to leave a serious injury or death, the Taser? Well in less than 1% of the incidents, you might die. I’ll take those odds any day. Just the fact that police carry Tasers or pepper spray will be a deterrent to people who want to fight anyway.
But damn they gotta do something to get this injured on the job thing under control and fast, or we will all suffer when it comes to crime and crime prevention, with not enough officers going around. Think about it the next time you are waiting at an accident for over an hour, and you are low on the priority response list. Mr COP, if you read or see this, I salute your professional force, best in the Caribbean if I do say so myself, but for all of our sakes, protect your men.
I thank John PO PO for giving me the information for this blog.