Officers shot as Commissioner Dottin announces new Twitter and Facebook initiatives
Two officers of the Royal Barbados Police Force were shot late Saturday night when they investigated two men in Navy Gardens. Constable Terry Pierre was seriously injured by a shot to the torso and remained in surgery for hours. Sergeant Christine Husbands was treated and released. A third officer on patrol was uninjured.
This comes a few days after the double murder of 79-year-old resident Arthur “Fred” Chaderton and his son-in-law Gerhart Metamara Stock who was visiting Barbados on a family vacation. Both men were shot at Chaderton’s home last Tuesday by two masked men, who may have been targeting Chaderton’s brother – the owner of the Bridge Supermarket.
At this time there is no indication from the police that the two incidents are in any way related, although one never knows. If the two men who the police were about to question are the ones who committed murder earlier in the week they probably would have been desperate enough to shoot at the three police officers. Or not. We just don’t know the truth at this time and don’t have enough information to guess.
No nighttime travel anymore in the North.
These two high profile shootings are on top of a spate of robberies and violent incidents in the last while (not to mention the Campus Trendz mass murder) that make me wonder where it is I am living because I don’t recognize my home anymore. It is as if I woke up in the last few weeks and forced myself to read the stories of violence in the news. I’ve been filtering it all out but last week Shona announced that she didn’t want to go out to visit some friends up near Archers Bay because we would have to “get home too late”. After a talk it turned out that “get home too late” was her code phrase for “don’t want to be driving up there after dark”.
This “no travel after dark in the north” is new in our home and it really underlined the changes that I’ve been filtering out for so long.
What’s to be done? Everyone is looking to the police, but the organisation is more than 100 officers understrength and can’t find enough qualified new officers willing to work for next to nothing. Commissioner Dottin and his crew do what they can with what they have but the truth is that the police are understaffed, under trained and under equipped. Our glorious BLP and DLP governments have been financially starving the police to death for two decades.
It is all about priorities, and for the last two decades the politicians have talked about the police and public safety, but their talk was all for show because it wasn’t accompanied by a realistic budget. So now we are in the situation we are in: without an adequately staffed, trained and equipped police force.
A response of fine words – every time
The crazy evil people that are part of any society know that the police are stretched too thin. They know that every time there is a horrible crime, the Attorney General and the Police Commissioner will “reassure” the public with fine words and announce “increased patrols”.
Sure enough, both the AG and the Police Commissioner did their usual.
No massive increase in budget, personnel hiring and resources though. That takes money and real commitment. Instead, our Commissioner of Police is reduced to telling folks to “Stay Calm” and announcing that the police “will soon” be on Twitter and Facebook. Hasn’t happened yet, but “soon.”
Two cops shot. Double murder. Many violent robberies. = Reassure, Twitter. Facebook.
What’s wrong with this equation?
Nation: Top Cop: Stay Calm!
Nation: Police turning to social sites.