Colonel Trevor Macmillan our new Minister of National Security is immediately faced with some of the most rapid murders of hapless citizens including a most brutal murder of two policemen in the Trench Town community while a soldier lost his life in pursuit of the alleged police attackers.

So “welcome to Jamrock, where the thugs them camp at, two pounds a weed in a van back, where poor people a dead at random and political violence can’t done. To see sufferation sicken me, to win election they trick we and they don’t do nutten at all”; lines from the title track on Grammy winning album of Damian “Junior Gong” Marley.

The people of Jamaica including the police have become weary of crime with the constant refrain “do something” while gunmen have a free run on murder. The population is frightened, afraid, feeling hopeless, and on the verge of giving up the ghost along with everything else.

Macmillan has the charisma and the professional abilities to do what is expected of him. I recall a conversation he had with a leading talk show host years ago who concluded that he thought he was “a man who could walk on water”. He sounded a bit befuddled by that comment but further on as commissioner and at the point when he “resigned” that job he should have understood fully the comment “a decent police force cannot survive alongside a corrupt politics where a police might want to arrest a minister or his wife”.

Today as a minister of national security he is surely the most experienced and prepared we have ever had, having moved up the ranks from being actively engaged in operations to being the maker and director of policy. I asked the opinion of a strong supporter of the opposition party who responded, “I think he will do well”. When asked why the response was “as commissioner I thought he was fair”.

Most ordinary Jamaicans have high hopes for Mr Macmillan to make a success of his new ministerial post that has traditionally been a political graveyard for most of his predecessors. The difference he brings to the job is that he is not a politician per se but a well rounded security professional who would have to be coerced severely into allowing politics to win in the contest of politics versus national security. We hope he will be able to inject the political will into his other colleagues to do what is to be done.

We have to get to the root causes scientifically, quickly and objectively, if it turns out that the garrison phenomenon is among them let us develop the socio-political will to deal with it decisively and allow national security to triumph over politics. This crime problem has to be dealt with because it threatens not only the lives of citizens but the total economic stability and survival of Jamaica’s democracy and has the potential of bringing down the government.

We need to find out once and for all what is it in our society that turns an innocent infant into a monstrous killing machine even before the age of 20. In the interim, give the police the resources including rapid response helicopters for every parish. Maybe this tool could have either helped to save the policemen’s lives or aid the tracking down and capture of the killers and other criminals in real time.

I hope this time as minister he will have the willing political support of his colleagues so that he will be able to walk on water thus making this country a paradise for all and no more a criminals’ paradise. So, “welcome to Jamrock Mr. Mac”. We watching you from the gully side, up in the hills and all around the countryside its now over to you.

Michael Spence
P.O.Box 630
Liguanea, Kingston 6

Categories: Letters

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