Just a few days ago there was a conversation about the difficulties people encounter as they try to work with our police service. Some will say, well, that has been in existence for decades.
Every evening on the police TV show ‘Beyond the Tape’, there are citizens who call in to complain to the presenters, Marlan Hopkinson and various senior police co-hosts, about how badly they have been treated by officers at stations all over the country. The police are trying, but there still exist ‘rogue’ officers. There is clearly an attempt to change the culture but the perception persists.
Making things more difficult is the Acting Police Commissioner’s attempt to defend the many missteps of the service with regular releases pertaining to a reduction in serious crimes, when the murder rate is increasing daily and detection has fallen below 25 per cent. But, he would not promise to improve the public relations of his fellow officers.
In contrast to the modus operandi of many of our public officials, it was delightful to read of Senior High Court Judge Malcolm Holdip, who stood up for respectability and ethical behaviour in his San Fernando Court recently, when he turned away a defendant because of what she had worn to his court. Kudos to him for his action.
It is this kind of definitive action that is needed in the country from our leaders if we hope to restore the traditional values and morals that are the bedrock of our society.
The senior judge has given me a ray of hope that the age-old value system of respect for our institutions is not entirely lost in this country and that there are some of us, in spite of the various pressures, who intend to bring back some semblance of sanity to this society.
We have become so accustomed with mediocrity. Whether it is in the public service, private enterprise, big and small businesses, labour or the thousands of civic and other organisations, we are prepared to let things pass. Though all the aforementioned groups will deny that mediocrity exists in their places of work, the truth is all around us. Just look and see.
If we are serious about building a better society, a better life for all of us, we must try to wipe out mediocrity and replace it with a deep and renewed sense of values and morals.