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This officer needs to go for more training

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06.FEB.09

Editor: Please allow me to share my pure views on an article which appeared in the newspapers on January 27, 2009. It appeared in the Searchlight under the naming “SHOTS FIRED”.

One has to read the entire article and, in the process, get away from the enticing party political view that the article could well at first sight and seek to critically analyse the story for what it is worth.{{more}}

We are told in the story that the Commissioner of Police Keith Miller said to the newspaper that a police officer stationed at the Prime Ministers’ private residence “saw a masked man with his hand under his shirt”. Clearly, this descriptive piece is intended for us to believe the following; (1) that the person did not wish to be identified and as such he/she went into disguise using a non descript mask, (2) that the person had his/her hand under his/her shirt – sought to suggest that that person was armed and clearly wished to conceal the weapon and (3) with a mask and a concealed weapon – that the intruder was intent on the commission of a criminal offence.

The rest of the article makes for interesting reading. We were told that there was some communication between the police officer and this person who appears to be present for the commission of a crime in that “the assailant was asked to remove his hand” the paper went on to say. But it did not stop there, the assailant refused, and then “the assailant then approached the officer, who opened fire.”

What is missing, Commissioner? Something in this does not add up to me at all. Are you telling the nation that one of our better trained security details stationed at the private residence of the Prime Minister got a clear picture of an intended and brazen offender then went about spraying bullets all over the place after the assailant refused to follow his order?

Then we were told that “no one was apprehended or hurt in the incident”. Were we serious in putting out such a story? Is that what we want the rest of the world to know of our competencies with regards to providing security?

Obviously, we will be sending our best to protect the PMs’ private residence, and if this is a description of our best performance, something must be wrong.

There was no need to restate any threat on the life of the Prime Minister, except we are being told that he goes to that location for one reason or the other. The PM is living at his official residence, and as such, any threat to his life at Frenches is of no value as his life is being protected where he is physically located. The COP is hereby seeking to appeal to the pulse of the nation at a time when an act, which seems to insult professionalism, is at stake. To any right thinking person, this borders on being ridiculous.

I suggest, Mr. Commissioner, that you have the said officer return to the Police Training School for refresher courses, if he is to take on such crucial responsibility in the future.

Israel R. Bruce

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