Go Lean Commentary
It’s the economy, Stupid!
Quotation from Presidential Candidate Bill Clinton’s 1992 response to a question on voters’ primary issue.
Actually, there are other issues too, when considering why people flee from their Caribbean homeland and pursue life as a foreigner in the Diaspora – for some countries, according to a World Bank report, the vast majority of the college-educated population (60 to 81 percent) have fled. As was related in the Clinton quote, the primary reason is economic, but there are security concerns as well.
This commentary is about optimizing the police and security apparatus in the Caribbean region. If the region is to transform from its dysfunctional past to a brighter future, we must address regional security as strenuously as we address regional economics.
This discussion aligns with a motivation of the movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean – available to download for free – to dissuade Caribbean citizens from abandoning their homelands and invite the Diaspora to return, to repatriate. The movement describes the “Push” and “Pull” reasons why people leave in the first place, as follows:
- “Push” refers to people who feel compelled to leave, to seek refuge in a foreign land. “Refuge” is an appropriate word; because of societal defects, many from the Caribbean must leave as refugees – think Crime Victims, Domestic-abuse, LGBT, Disability, Medically-challenged– for their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. For these people, it is like “they are on fire” and need to stop-drop-and-roll.
- “Pull”, on the other hand refers to the lure of a more prosperous life abroad; this is mostly economic in nature as people are emigrating on the false perception that they can have a better “home” abroad.
Yes, while deficient economics – the primary reason – may affect the wallet, security deficiencies may affect life-and-death. Deficiencies – not enough – are not the only problem with Caribbean security measures; sometimes the problem is too much, as in “abuses”. All in all, there is the need to Police the Police – see the definitions of the noun and the verb in Appendix B – to give help and support, yes, but accountability too. Why the checks-and-balances? “No justice, no peace”. (See the depiction of unrestrained police abuse in the Appendix VIDEO below).
The Go Lean book therefore focuses on the future and how we can assuage both economics and security inequities. At the outset, this Future Focused book states (Page 3) that the economy of the Caribbean is inextricably linked to the security of the region. Therefore any economic action plan must also include a security pact to implement the mechanisms to ensure greater homeland protections. These efforts must monitor and mitigate against power abuses, economic crimes, systemic threats and also facilitate natural disaster planning and response agencies.
Every Caribbean member-state has a police/security entity, and yet there are so many security inadequacies. The future must therefore include better solutions and better deliveries. The Go Lean book provides a 370-page turn-by-turn guide for forging a new future; it details “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies so as to formulate change, to deviate from the current path and foster a brighter-better-safer future. This would mean reforming and transforming the police and security apparatus. This Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) to elevate the societal engines, including the optimization of the regional security apparatus and justice institutions.
There is currently a regional security apparatus, but it is very deficient! Consider the news article in Appendix A below, depicting the IMPACS investigation of Police excessive force/extra judicial killings (12) in St. Lucia. IMPACS is the formal name for the CARICOM agency with the anti-crime scope. IMPACS = Implementation Agency for Crime and Security.
Improving or elevating the regional security apparatus, is a mandate of this Future Focused roadmap; the plan is to Police the Police.
This commentary continues this series on the Caribbean Future; this is Part 4 of 5 on this subject. The full series is catalogued as follows:
- Future Focused – Personal Development and the Internet
- Future Focused – College, Caribbean Style
- Future Focused – Radio is Dead
- Future Focused – Policing the Police
- Future Focused – e-Government Portal 101
We accept that all is not well in the Caribbean – in fact the region is in crisis – but it can get better … in the future. We have challenges and opportunities. The Future Focus allows us to work to assuage the challenges. This is what the Go Lean book presents, a workable roadmap to effect change in all societal engines. In fact, the roadmap features these 3 Future Focused prime directives:
- Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
- Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
- Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.
The Go Lean book features this excerpt-summary (Page 23) of Security Principles:
This roadmap for Caribbean integration declares that peace, security and public safety is tantamount to economic prosperity. This is why an advocacy for the Greater Good must be championed as a community ethos. A prime precept is that it is “better to know than to not know” – this implies that privacy is secondary to security. A secondary precept is that bad things will happen to good people and so the community needs to be prepared to contend with the risks that can imperil the homeland.
- Privacy versus Public Protection
- Whistleblower Protection
- Witness Security & Protection
- Anti-Bullying and Mitigation
- Intelligence Gathering
- Light Up the Dark Places
- “Crap” Happens
Rampant crime and security inadequacies can drive good people away from their beloved homelands … to settle in as refugees in foreign lands, where their prospects for life is only one of marginalization, until the next generation. We must do a better job of protecting our people here at home; and we must protect the protectors; and protect the people from the protectors. These are the challenges – heavy-lifting – of shepherding society in a pluralistic democracy.
This point had been further detailed in previous blog-commentaries, depicting the Future Focus of the CU/Go Lean roadmap:
- Mitigating the Eventual ‘Abuse of Power’
Since “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”, there is the need to monitor, mitigate and manage the risks of bad behavior among law enforcement and security personnel. The CU/Go Lean roadmap is designed with the needed protections in mind to ensure a safer community.
- Ten Puerto Rico Police Accused of Criminal Network
A news article reports on corruption by 10 police officials that have undermined Puerto Rico’s justice institutions. This is not so surprising, as the Go Lean book relates that “bad actors” will always emerge to exploit the community. Despite the American territorial status, this threat is still ever-present in Puerto Rico. They need the full protection of a technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation.
- Support sought for kids left behind by UN troops in Haiti
The United Nations Security/Peacekeeping Forces in Haiti did some good … and some bad. Their personnel needed to be held to account for their impropriety. There is a greater need for a local/regional security solution, for the protections and accountability – there is a Military Justice eco-system embedded in the CU/Go Lean roadmap.
- Grenada Diaspora Bails-out National Police with Protective Gear
Who do national Police Forces call now when they have a problem bigger than they can handle with their resources? The answers are limited. This demonstrates the need for a better regional security apparatus – this is the CU/Go Lean roadmap – to support the local police institutions – to step in, step up and help out.
- Securing the Homeland – On the Ground
The CU/Go Lean roadmap calls for the acquisition and deployment of advanced security systems (hardware and software). Many of the cutting-edge solutions allow the security forces to do more with less.
- Waging a Successful War on ‘Terrorism’
The threat of terrorism is just too big for community policing. The solutions require a bigger effort than what any one Caribbean member-state can muster alone. The CU/Go Lean roadmap provides a technocratic regional option.
- Prisoners for Profit – Abuses in the Prison Industrial Complex
The human rights of prisoners are easily abused and their labors exploited without the proper stewardship in the security apparatus. The CU/Go Lean security roadmap considers lessons learned from the ugly US history.
- Justice Strategy: Special Prosecutors / Commissions of Inquiries … et al
Security engines are complicated to implement in society; they require a political process, consensus-building and compromise. But abuses abound! So there must be checks-and-balances and escalation for conflict resolutions. The CU/Go Lean roadmap calls for optimized justice institutions based on best practices from other societies.
The effort, as detailed in this commentary: to better secure the homeland and optimize justice institutions, is designed to lower the “push-pull” factors that lead to the current atrocious Caribbean brain-drain rate.
In addition, “power” is often associated with abuse, so there is the plan to “check” those with power, and the security institutions.
Can we improve community policing in the Caribbean homeland? Can we better protect those protecting society? Can we provide checks-and-balances on those who wield the power?
Yes, we can!
Though this is not easy – heavy-lifting – it is conceivable, believable and achievable.
This is the kind of Future Focused efforts that are needed to reform and transform Caribbean society – we must Police the Police – to make our homelands better- safer places to live, work and play. 🙂
Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.
Appendix A – National Security Minister cautions against identifying officers in IMPACS investigation
The National Security Minister [of St. Lucia] has advised journalists against exposing the identity of the police officers currently being questioned as part of the IMPACS investigation. [(CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security)].
Hermangild Francis says the officers have not been charged and could become targets in their communities.
“To go around showing persons pictures who have not even been charged or anything like that is unfair and a very dangerous precedent that is being set. So I want to make an appeal to the press that they refrain from showing the photographs of anybody that the DPP [(Director of Public Prosecutions)] will speak to,” Francis said.
Three officers have been brought in for questioning as the Officer of the Director of Public Prosecutions seeks to bring an end to the IMPACS case amid mounting pressure from the United States and the European Union.
Former Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony had in 2013 commissioned an investigation by the Caribbean Community IMPACS agency into alleged extra judicial killings by members of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF).
The killings occurred under a special police operation dubbed “operation Restore Confidence” instituted during a period of heightened criminal activity.
In an address to the nation on March 8, 2015 on certain aspects contained in the report, Anthony said, among other things, that the police staged fake encounters and planted evidence in the 12 fatal shootings that took place.
In August 2013, the United States suspended all forms of assistance to the RSLPF, citing allegations of serious human rights violations.
Francis is concerned that publishing images of the officers being questioned in the matter could place their lives in jeopardy.
“A lot of persons are going to be brought in for questioning; some persons who were involved and some people who were not involved. And by showing the photographs of everybody who goes to the DPP is jeopardizing the lives and the safety of the majority of these officers,” he added.
Source: Posted September 22, 2017; retrieved November 13, 2017 from: https://stluciatimes.com/2017/09/22/national-security-minister-cautions-identifying-officers-impacs-investigation
Appendix B – Definitions: Police
- Also called police force. an organized civil force for maintaining order, preventing and detecting crime, and enforcing the laws.
- (used with a plural verb) members of such a force:
Several police are patrolling the neighborhood.
- the regulation and control of a community, especially for the maintenance of public order, safety, health, morals, etc.
- the department of the government concerned with this, especially with the maintenance of order.
- any body of people officially maintained or employed to keep order, enforce regulations, etc.
- people who seek to regulate a specified activity, practice, etc.:
the language police.
- a. the cleaning and keeping clean of a camp, post, station, etc.
b. the condition of a camp, post, station, etc., with reference to cleanliness.
Verb (used with object), policed, policing.
- to regulate, control, or keep in order by or as if by means of police.
- to clean and keep clean (a camp, post, etc.)
Source: Retrieved November 14, 2017 from: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/police?s=t
Appendix VIDEO – KAMAU – PohLease [Official video] – https://youtu.be/nhMxQXTX2ak
Published on Aug 31, 2016 – “Who Police the Police … when they get out of line”.
“PohLease” – off of our debut EP “A Gorgeous Fortune”