These days, most Jamaicans strongly believe that the police force is corrupt.
Jamaican citizens want the police force to be scrapped and replaced by another institution.
Retired police officer and revered crime-fighter Reneto Adams, which he served for 41 years, also agrees to this believe.
Adams, who retired in August 2008 at the rank of senior superintendent of police, said that things were so bad in the Jamaica Constabulary Force that the time has come for something major to be done to regain the confidence and hope of the Jamaican people.
With crime still the major concern of Jamaicans and acts of atrocities rampant across the island of approximately 2.8 million inhabitants, Adams believes that no further time should be wasted in the quest to set things right.
“It is the strong perception of the Jamaican people that we have a corrupt force. We should abandon this force and form a new one,” Adams, told reporters in a recent interview.
“We should start a national recruitment of people we think we would want to be in that force. There should be thorough background checks of all individuals, because not enough background checks have been done on our present policemen.
“Those background checks,” Adams said, “should start from when the person was in primary school, coming straight through other stages of learning.
“If it is found that the individual was dishonest, untruthful and didn’t do his work while he attended school, he should not be recruited.
“Hundreds of policemen have been convicted, many of them are now on suspension, charged with corruption and acts of indiscipline,” Adams said.
The Government, he said, was the central element in fighting crime, and needs to mobilise the society behind it.
“All you hear every day is talk about forming a new squad and when it comes, it’s only an old one with a new name. The law says we must execute and we are not doing it,” Adams argued in support of the death penalty.
“All is needed is the setting up of a new force, give the police more support and change the law so that the police commissioner is voted for by the people and cannot be fired just like that.
“The police force must be given a free hand. It should be governed by an oversight committee elected by the people,” he recommended.
“If people who are supposed to enforce the law are being accused, and in many cases, convicted of corruption, what kind of force can you have?
“Have the police fallen to bribes and corruption, why are they not enforcing the law?” Adams asked.
Police Commissioner of Jamaica, Owen Ellington shared with the country that the constabulary’s screening process has been enhanced to include areas of an applicant’s life that may have escaped scrutiny before.
Jamaica has one of the highest murder rates in the Western Hemisphere with more than 1,000 committed annually.
Last week, however, National Security Minister Peter Bunting told the country that “serious and violent crimes” had dropped 10 per cent and murders were down five per cent for the period January 1 to June 15 this year compared to the same period last year.