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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Three More BPS Police Officer Die In 2009.. What Is Responsible For The High Passive Mortality Rate In The Bermuda Police Service?

The newly appointed Commissioner of Police Mike Da Silva

It have been a year and five months, since I brought to the attention of the Bermuda Police Association as well as to the attention of the public (which also got the attention of some international health agency) the unhealthy condition of the many facilities that is occupied by the Bermuda Police Service. These buildings includes and are not limited to the building that house the Hamilton Police Station, which was condemned over three decades ago; all of the buildings at Headquarters Hill, Devonshire, which houses: The Police Recreation Club, Police Administration, Narcotic Department, Intelligence Unit, The Telecommunication Unit, The Police Training School etc. Buildings which were deemed unfit, to be used by their previous occupants, who for obvious reasons had to vacated the buildings that were subsequently condemned. Unfortunately, the Government of Bermuda saw It fit to make these unhealthy, condemned building, the places of daily operation of the Bermuda Police Service.

Yet another year has come and pass and it is business as usual, three more police officers were diagnosed with and die from terminal illnesses yer it is still business as usual. I am speaking of three more officers, who participated in or supported the public demonstration (protest march) for more money, while neglecting the health issues that have been affecting and affected hundreds of their colleagues; yet they did not live long enough to enjoy the money they choose over their health. When you consider the whole scenario, it is such a sad occurrence, that could have been avoided with a little foresight and a little innovative thinking.

Carl Nedlet and the Bermuda Police Association, have failed to look out for the welfare of their members. The failure of the Bermuda Police Association not only kill their members but was responsible for their illnesses. Unfortunately it is the family of the decease and the ill who really suffer.

I hope that the Bermuda Police Association is not waiting on the incoming Commissioner of Police; Mike Da Silva to solve this ongoing problem. It is important that they understand, as much as Commissioner Da Silva will like to address the on going issue of the unhealthy working environment The Bermuda Police Service is confronted with, there is not much he can do. Although he is responsible for the B.P.S members, he is not really accountable to them. Commissioner Of Police is accountable to the Government and people of Bermuda. Unfortunately Mike Da Silva has to work with the time table of the Government. The harsh reality is; he has no say as to how the Government of Bermuda allocates and spend their funds. His core responsibilities are to ensure that crime and criminal activities are kept at a manageable rate.

So while the members of the Bermuda Police Association are collecting the dues from their members, they turn the attention of the membership to unimportant issues, while praying on the gratitude of the healthy members who are only to happy that they are not the one lying on the bed of the terminally ill, or on a slab in the morgue. But the big question that members of the Bermuda Police Service must ask themselves is: am I the next person to become unexplainable ill, or die from an avoidable terminal illness?

Don’t forget Wayne Gaskin who escaped death only by the grace of God, let us not forget Detective Donald, who has two progressively failing kidneys, and the countless others who are still suffering. When will you have the Wayne Gaskin, Stevie Darrell, Grant Yard, Paul Marsden, Gary Young or the Andrew Thomas' experience. If you are sure that you are invincible and immune from any such medical condition, then you can continue life, business as usual. Don’t forget, there were three healthy police officers who experienced sudden illness and die from malignant terminal illnesses in 2009. Who will it be in 2010?

Let us examine the other government departments, social institution, financial institution, places of work and/or organization that operate in Bermuda and compare the amount of unexplained illnesses and or death they experienced over the pass year, five years, ten, fifteen or twenty years with that with the Bermuda Police Service. These are easy research to conduct and should be done. But the Big question is; will it be done? It is every one's wish that this problem will go away, just evaporate into thin air. Since it will not just go away, like the hundred of other solvable problems that no one cares about, it will be swept under the rug as always. I hope that no one else trip over the bulged in the rug and die the way complacent police officers had been dying; for they to were also responsible for creating the bulge in the rug.

The Bermuda Police Service has the highest passive mortality rate in the history of police organization in the world. Is this unfortunate event important enough to find out why?

Yes, Yes I know, the truth hurts and offends many, but the truth must be spoken. If the truth is not spoken by me, who will?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

An Abuse of Power: Is Bermudian Getting The Justice They Ought To?

From my stint in Bermuda, I have interacted with many Bermudian who were detained in police custody on various drug smuggling offences. In most cases the alleged offenders would have had a package apprehended by the police from one of the three renowned international courier services that operate on the Island of Bermuda: DHL UPS or FedEx.

Then I had an experienced that caused me to question the methods used by and the integrity of the Bermuda Police Service when dealing with the citizen of Bermuda; more specifically in the area of drug related offences. The questions I am trying to get an answer to are as follows:

Have the Bermuda Police Service been honest and forthright in dealing with the thousands of individuals who have had their packaged searched, seized, were arrested, their activities investigated, their phone tapped, their homes searched, their friends and family inconvenience with questioning and in some case detained, the subject charged, prosecuted and in most cases the accused person went to court and plead guilty: in order to avoid the inconvenience and the negative attention of a long trial? Have they been honest in their dealings?

From my experience most Black Bermudian are of the opinion that the court system is tailored to deny them justice and as a result they refuse to fight for their rights. These are occurrences the presiding Jurist, the police, the defense lawyers and the prosecutor appreciates very much, for these court officers it is an opportunity to reduce the excess cases load but most of all, they get out of court early. This come at the expense of Justice and too often resulted in the conviction of innocent citizen, which is not good for justice. I often wonder what happened to the philosophy that it is better for ten guilty men to go free than for one innocent man to be convicted.

In April 2009, after speaking to my sister via telephone to arranged the shipment of my new passport which she was in possession of after collecting it from the passport office in Kingstown, St. Vincent. The phone calls between us were to make arrangement to ensure that we were on the same page with the shipping of my travel Document (passports) to me. The arrangement was made for my passports to be shipped to me via Federal Express (FedEx) which I should have received on the 7th April 2008. The FedEx agent in St. Vincent who is my good friend, ensure she properly label the package detailing the content of the package on the place provided for such.

Sensing that something was terrible wrong I constantly tract the movement of my package using FedEx on line tracking. When the package arrived in Bermuda, I immediately called FedEx office to make arrangement to collect the package. However I was informed that the package was in the possession of the delivery agent. Later that morning the delivery agent contacted me and informed me that he has a package for me. I made my way to his location where I signed the necessary document and collected the package. When I collected the package, I was in the company of one adult female and two children.

On receipt of the package I noticed the package was tampered with and the damage was repaired with and clear tape. I opened the package in the presence of the FedEx delivery person who informed me that was the condition the package was in, when it was given to him.

Isn’t it the procedure of any legitimate shipping company FedEx including; to inform their customers if a package was damaged and its content missing? FedEx workers could not claim they did not know that the content of the package was missing, because there is a manifest (airway bill) that outlines the content of the package and its value. Isn’t it procedure for any legitimate company FedEx included to inform their customers if their package or part of the shipment were seized by the police if doing so will not interfere with an on going investigation? And aren’t they (legitimate shipping company including FedEx) professionally and legally obligated to inform the customers if such seizure was affected if the shipment or the content of the shipment did not contravene any law?

Isn’t it the procedure for any well structured police service or force, if the seized a package or the content of or part of the content of a package to first inform the owners and initiate an arrest if any law was violated.

While conducting my inquiries, the behavior of the senior customs officer who was assigned to clear FedEx consignments and the Manager of FedEx Bermuda Ltd. had the dirty hand print of Bermuda Police Service all over my missing passport. So I made a formal report to the police documenting the theft of two St. Vincent passports, then I wrote a letter to the Manager of FedEx Bermuda Ltd. Below is the content of the letter I submitted to the Manager of FedEx Bermuda Ltd.

12 Headquarters Hill

Christopher P. Heslop
Manager Federal Express Bermuda
Serpentine Road

th April 2008

Dear Mr. Heslop,

On Wednesday 9th April 2008, I duly brought to your attention and I have also taken the timeout to show you a package I received from your delivery service, which was tampered with and part of the contents namely two St. Vincent and the Grenadines Pass Port (one that was canceled with an American Visa in it, and a new Pass Port that is in compliance with the USA standards) in the name of Allan H. F. Palmer was missing form the package; a package your delivery person admitted he received from the warehouse as he delivered it.

And as you have informed me on recognizing the tape on the package that the tape used is that which is used by custom official to reseal a package after a package was examined by the Bermuda Customs, and as was confirmed by the customs officer who states that the person who use the tape should not have use the said tape on the package as they are making a transition from that tape to a new tape.

I do not have to inform you, of the importance of someone in my position having a Pass Port.

In my effort to get a speedy replacement pass port I am requesting a letter from your company verifying that a passport was shipped from St. Vincent and the Grenadines to Bermuda via Federal Express and that package was tampered with and the Pass Port removed from the package.

Such a letter will aid in me getting a speedy replacement. Let me take this opportunity to thank you for your speedy cooperation in this urgent matter. Thank you.

Sig. Allan H. F Palmer

The big questions that must be answered are:

How did the Bermuda Police Service official know, that my passports were coming into Bermuda on that particular date?

The Bermuda Police Service was illegally listening into my phones conversations.

Did the Bermuda Police Service obtain lawful authority that instructed the FedEx management to hand over to them for the purpose of searching and to confiscate the content of the package?

Did the Bermuda Police Service get such lawful authority from a presiding Jurist or Justice of the Peace? If the answer to this question is yes; what was the information they provide to the Jurist to justify the issuing such authority?

Every moment of that day is fixed in my memory for two reasons the first reason: it was the day my passport was stolen by the institution I served faithfully and for the mere fact that although such a adverse occurrence it was also my best day in Bermuda.

Mike Jackman one of the B.P.S management and the proud face of unethical practice. (It Pays to be Dishonest)

I can clearly remember seeing the smug look of victory that was plastered on the faces of the main perpetrators Assistance Commissioner of Police: Mike Jackman and his accomplice Inspector Haynes.

Now if Mike Jackman and his accomplices were willing to break the law and possible knowingly provide fraudulent information to a presiding Jurist to obtain a lawful authority in order to stress an honest police officer only because he was strong enough to live his conscience and refused to fall in line with their dishonesty and to comply with their illegal instructions. To what lengths will they go to cause the arrest and potential imprisonment of a member of the community who the have an even more serious beef with.

Mike Jackman and the others are paid to uphold the law, if they can disrespect the authority with which they were entrusted, use fraudulent means to persuade a presiding Jurist to do their dirty biddings and to violate the law at will when it is in their egoist interest; then who is safe from these rough police officers. How many Bermudian were arrested and charge and prosecuted base on the dishonest actions of rough police officers. Now the big question is, who is going to police the police?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Who Is Responsible For The Action Of The Youths?

The youths of Bermuda have taken a hard hit over the recent pass and this is so because they have been doing what each of us has done in the pass, while growing up: they made some poor decision. While I resided in St. Vincent and the Grenadines: the land of my birth; without the prompting of anyone I took on the role of mentor many of the nation’s youths. I in several programs, more spacific: in a once a week program that was geared to provide activities for the youths of my neighborhood, this was done in order to provide these young people with an alternative to the negitive cycle (Both parental and community) they were expected to repeat.

Some Of The Hikers Taking A Rest On The Trail To St. Andrews Mountain

I presented to the youths of my neighborhood, a different way of living; The Adventurers Hiking program which attracted youths from all over the country was geared to provide the opportunity for young people to explore their adventurous side by participating in daring events in a controled environment and the Read and Have Fun a program that was instrumental in highlighting the importance of reading and was responsible in inspiring an interest in none reading children in reading. This program was also designed by me and was sponsored by the Vin-save Child Development Center, which was and still is under the Direction of Mrs. Janice Fraser, who was integrally involved in the program.

From my interaction with Bermuda’s Youths I can say that they are no different from the youths in other parts of the world. Like other youths they get involved in petty squabble that get out of hand from time to time, they also have tons of energy that is focus in the wrong direction, there is also the existence of rage and the feeling of invincibility, when these characteristics are properly directed, they can be converted into a productive force and be beneficial to the individual but is left unchecked and poorly directed, such can yield dangerous results.

Here is where the problem begins. The young person is very often unable to properly direct or redirect the surplus of energy, rage or utilize the spirit of invincibility that are common to this demographic of the society and the there is rarely anyone present who can and are willing to dedicate the time and knowledge to help the youths channel their energies and rage in to activities that can allow them to relief themselves of such in a control and productive manner; hence the reason for the problems.
PCs Ward, Hilton And Palmer With Their Littles.
My religious affiliation and my association with the Big Brother Big Sister of Bermuda have given me the opportunity to mentor many of Bermuda’s youths, a responsibility that I took seriously and one that I handled tenderly.

My First Little Brother: Donte and I at the South Side Bowl
I was connected to Donte by the Big Brother program a wonderful young man that has potential that cannot be measured; Donte is a shy young man who I expect a lot of. With the correct motivation and support there is nothing that he cannot accomplished, We enjoy many games of lawn tennis, when this awesome young man is excited he has such a loud infectious laugh that is a delight to hear.

Taj after exploring a cave in the Blue Hole Hill Area

Later I was given the opportunity by the Big Brother Big Sister to mentor another little. My new mentee’s name was Taj. Taj is a very talkative youngster, which was a sign that he possess an active, curious and inquiring mind. As such, his curiosity leads him to asked many probing questions, a quality that most people will find annoying but a quality that should be encourage and properly directed. If this young man is not discouraged from exercising and expanding his curiosity but encouraged to asked question and is taught how to satisfy such curiosity; by teaching him how to search for such answers; then is no telling what this young man can accomplish.

There is Javan: an intense, high energy and honest youth, who has an extraordinary capacity to love, even for one of so tender an age; he knows how to show appreciate. This young man is a delight to be around. With the correct mentoring, parental guidance and the correct peers Javan will excel in any field.

There are many of Bermuda’s youths that I have grown close to and have grown to love that are not mentioned here. However, the biggest problem with my mentees and every youth are; they are misunderstood. Adults are often not patience enough or they are not willing to dedicate the time needed to allow children to be children. The adult population (parent, teachers, mentors, guardians) must understand that members of this demographic are not adults and they should not expect the youths/children to behave, interact, and grasp concepts and instruction as adults do, for the simple fact they are not adults.

The fact that each adult were once a youth should afford us the understanding of what the youths are going through and thus make us the best parent, guardian and mentors; however, our impatience has made us a danger to our young people. We need to reform our mentality and lifestyle in such a manner that will allow us to be better, more responsible and active mentors, parents and guardian. It is only when we understand that to be a parent or to be given the opportunity to impact or influence the future of a child, or young person; is the most secret responsibility there is; it is then, we will reorganized our priorities and ensure that our children are placed at the top of the list.

We cannot blame the youths for their mal behavior for they are a product of their parents and to a wider extent the community. For the level and the quality of parenting each parent give to their children will in fact determine the quality of the young people and by a larger extent the quality of citizen the community is blessed or cursed with. In turn the parent will give to the community the type of citizen the community demands.
The question what type of citizen is the community demanding from its parents?