Unfortunately time and again issues with the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) have been swept under the rug as the actions of “Just a few bad apples”.
There have been too many incidents over the years for this excuse to continue to hold water.
Am I saying that the entire RBPF is corrupt, or engaged in criminal behavior? No.
But I am saying we need to admit that it exists and that there is a systemic problem within the police force that allows certain type of officers and behaviors to continue, if not flourish.
In cities all over the world police departments have grappled with this problem, from Australia, to London, to New York and as nearby as Miami. Where there has been improvement, the department heads have realized that the theory of a few bad apples is untenable.
“The ‘rotten apple’ theory won’t work any longer. Corrupt police officers are not natural born criminals, nor morally wicked men, constitutionally different from their honest colleagues. The task of corruption control is to examine the barrel, not just the apples – the organization, not just the individuals in it – because corrupt police are made, not born” ~ Commissioner Knapp
This is not an attack on the RBPF, far from it, this is a plea for a better stronger more professional police force, one based discipline and rule of law.
Yes I know, it is because of the RBPF that we can sleep safe (somewhat) at night. But does that mean we should allow any kind of behavior?
Yes, I know, RBPF officers work extremely hard and put their lives at risk. But isn’t that the job description?
There is no excuse for criminal behavior from the police force, they should aim to be beyond reproach.
Here’s what a late Director of Police Studies at Massey University in New Zealand had to say;
“Remember now and always that the office of constable is held by you as a public trust, and that the uniform you wear and the commission you carry are symbols of public faith. If you dishonour, disgrace, or disregard the faith placed in your office you become more dangerous than any criminal you will ever confront. When the public cannot trust individual police officers or the police institution to operate within the law confidence in the justice system is undermined and the very foundations of our democratic society are threatened”.
A corrupt police officer should offend every right thinking citizen and Police officers, because at the end of the day corrupt police officers are nothing more than criminals in uniform (and personally I prefer my criminals in horizontal strips).
We need to address this issue now and stop sweeping it under the rug, stop making excuses. Because with every incident the public loses faith in the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the criminals gain more ground.
Your Turn: What Do You Think Should Be Done To Address The Corruption Problems With In The Royal Bahamas Police Force?