Saturday, March 16, 2013

Letter: Let's unite, put politics aside and save the country

As we sit and listen to the Government explain the reasons for bringing the Defence Force Amendment Bill to the Lower House, some of us are saying thank God, but there are some who prefer to turn it into a political issue.
It will seem that some of these people are living in a different country or time. 

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service needs all the help it can get. According to what I have read in the newspaper, the strength of the Police Service is over seven thousand officers, but when we look at this figure we have to ask ourselves how much of these seven thousand officers are out on the streets policing? 

Out of these seven thousand officers we have a few hundreds of them doing administration work at the police headquarters and police stations throughout the country. There is another group on one and two years vacation leave, study leave, and then of course the shift system.

We can safely say that we never have a proper strength on the street to fight crime. So the question now arises, should we hire more police officers and put a strain on the treasury or should we use the services of the Defence Force? 

One has to remember that we are already paying the soldiers a salary every month, so why not put our money to good use? We have approximately six thousand soldiers available, why not use them in our fight against crime? It will not cost the country any additional expense and we will be able to attack the crime situation with full force.

The country has to accept that this fight we are fighting is not a fight against “crime” but a fight against MURDERS. Crime statistics show that our police service has the other crimes under control. It is the senseless killings we must now control, and for this we all have to work as one to save our beloved country.

This is one time all citizens must come together to fight. This is not a PP, UNC, PNM, TOP, NJAC, MSJ, TRADE UNIONS, BLACK, INDIAN, CHINESE, SYRIAN, RICH OR POOR issue; it is something that in some way will affect us all as a country. 

We all have our part to play if we are to stop the killings. We cannot sit and watch the news every night feeling happy when the number of killings go up daily, because it suits a political agenda in the hope that it will bring down a Government. If the Government was to change tomorrow will the killers just put down their guns? Will the killing stop?

Over and over the police are begging the citizens of our country for help, and the same people that are politicizing the issue should practice what they preach and put country first, put their issues aside and come together and help stop the killings.

Every political party and trade union in this country has foot soldiers. The same way the Government is trying to use the Defence Force in this fight, every political party and trade union should do the same with their foot soldiers. 

We have to remember that no Government or Minister of National Security has control of the Police Service. The Police Service is controlled by the Commissioner of Police. It is the responsibility of the Minister of National Security and the Government of the day to ensure the Commissioner of Police has the required tools, equipment and the legislation to assist him in carrying out his duty.

It is very easy for us to sit in our homes and throw the blame on others, but what are we doing to help stop the killings? The police can't do it without the help of the citizens of the country. They cannot have a police officer at every home.

Who is doing the killings? Why are they killing? 

The fact of the matter is, it's friends killing friends, people who grew up together in the same neighbourhoods, went to the same schools, kick ball together, and in some cases ate from the same plate. 

Now because of gang relationship and membership they can't cross the road within their own neighbourhoods. Young people are killing one another because of a word in their street language called "DIS", which is short for DISRESPECT. It's not about jobs. In some cases it is about fame. In their mind and world, it's about RESPECT.

Today I am begging all Political Parties, Trade Unions, and pressure groups to come together for the betterment of our country. Send your foot soldiers out into the fields, let them work with the police in identifying the killers. 

The politicians must work with the police to ensure the systems are in place at the police station or other locations to receive the information while keeping the identity of the foot soldiers confidential.

This should not be about helping the Government of the day, it's about helping our country! Every political party’s networking system within their community is better than any information gathering system the police can have. 

The foot soldiers are the eyes and the ears for their political parties. The time has come for them to put aside party differences and put country first. The time has come to identify THE KILLERS, THE SHOOTERS, THE MURDERERS, THE GANGSTERS. 

It is time to get them out of our communities and in jail where they belong. It is time to take back our communities. We see political networking systems at work every election season, so why not put them to use to stop the killings? Every good Member of Parliament knows every house within their constituency, they know every track, in and out. They have walked them for months and in some cases years. 

The time has come to put country first. We have to work with the police on the KILLINGS. Only we can help stop the KILLINGS! You can fight about everything else after, but to stop the KILLINGS, WE ALL MUST UNITE.

It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child, now we are seeing a child killing a village. THIS MUST STOP.

Aaron Henry

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai