Right Steps & Poui Trees


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Armadale. 22.05.2009. I Remember

Armadale

On May 22, 2009, a fire at the Armadale Juvenile Correctional Centre in St Ann, Jamaica resulted in the death of seven teenage girls. We cannot afford to forget.

Shaunnalee Kerr – 15 years old

Kaychell Nelson – 15 years old

Ann marie Samuels – 16 years old

Rochelle King – 16 years old

Nerissa King – 16 years old

Georgina Saunders – 16 years old

Stephanie Smith – 17 years old

The Report of the Armadale Commission of Enquiry 2010

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No, Seriously…That’s Why the Police Aren’t Using Their Body-Worn Cameras?

COP AndersonAbout two weeks ago there was an article in the Gleaner with the headline Police Not Making Full Use of Body Cameras – Commissioner, in which the new Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson seems to have given us a somewhat clearer idea of why to date no member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has been wearing a body-camera in any incident requiring investigation by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM). No fatal shooting, no shooting resulting in injury, no altercation, nothing. No incident occurring on any planned operation, not on any unplanned operation, not on any planned stationary vehicle check point, nothing. And this after these body-cameras were introduced with much hype and fanfare, having been donated by the US Embassy in August 2016. (See blog post Jamaica’s Body-Worn Cameras: A Comfort to a Fool?)

As one of the “different sectors of the society asking for an update on the cameras and why there was no footage from any operations that featured body cameras”, I was intrigued to see the Commissioner being quoted as follows regarding the lack of use  of the body cameras:

“One, you don’t have enough, and, two, our uniforms don’t have the technology to actually properly wear them. We are looking at some other models that we have seen recently. We have met some representatives up to last week that, perhaps, will suit what we do better”. (Gleaner, May 9, 2018)

An inadequate number of body cameras does not explain why the available cameras have not been deployed on planned operations where confrontations are most likely to occur. A logical approach would see these operations as priority for deployment. The other reason given is beyond belief…that police uniforms don’t have the “technology” for attaching the body cameras properly! When was this deficiency first discovered? Was there no consultation between the JCF and the US Embassy before the particular body cameras were obtained and donated? At what point was it planned to inform the public of this ridiculous problem preventing use of the body cameras? Does this mean that the existing body cameras are to be discarded?

The article also quotes Commissioner Anderson as saying:

“When you introduce new things and new capabilities, it’s a process. You don’t just buy something to stick them on. There’s a training component, there’s an equipment back-up component, a logistics component, a command and control component to it. There’s a whole thing that you used to deliver capabilities, but we haven’t been that good at it”. (Gleaner, May 9, 2018)

So the announcement of the donation of the body cameras in August 2016 and the announcement of the deployment of the cameras in February 2017 and the failure to give any official update to the public regarding the use of the body cameras or any official evaluation of the project has all resulted in the declared use of body cameras  by the JCF being an elaborate comfort to a fool.

I am glad that the Commissioner of Police has answered some questions from a reporter, but perhaps it is time for a full and official update by the Minister of National Security in Parliament.

(I have now done 5 or 6 blog posts about the body-worn cameras and the JCF, if you wish more information about the issue.)


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Walker’s Place of Safety Fire Brigade Report via Access to Information Request

Today I received a copy of the Jamaica Fire Brigade’s Final Fire Report regarding the fire which occurred at the Walker’s Place of Safety on January 16, 2018. The date of the Final Report is March 16, 2018. The fire resulted in the death of two girls who were resident at the facility, Oneike McGrae and Anna Kaye Moreland.

JFB Walker's fire report pic

Jamaica Fire Brigade Final Fire Report – Walker’s Place of Safety – March 16 2018

Having read the two-page report, I do not understand what justified not making it public at the time that it was completed and turned over to the Government.DJM Walker's report tweet 29-5-18

SG Tweet re Walker's report 7-4-18

It is clear that there remain many questions to be answered about this fire and the tragic loss of life and trauma that resulted, but as important a document as the fire report should not have taken many weeks to be released publicly. And one of the questions that needs to be asked concerns the adequacy of the report itself.

 


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“Nuh Wey Nuh Betta Dan Yard”: Weekly Photo Challenge – Place In The World

“Where do you belong? In the hustle and bustle of a big city or amongst friendly faces in a small town? For this week’s challenge, show us your place in the world….Where’s your safe space? Where do you go when you need to feel inspired or cheered up?”

Yard is where I belong….Jamaica…right here…home.

Looking north…P1230400

…south…P1210159 (3)

…east…P1240086

…west…P1230321

Weekly Photo Challenge – Place in the World

 

 


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Potoo In A Pink Poui: Weekly Photo Challenge – Unlikely

“Maybe you can’t predict it, but you can still take a photo of it.”

I slowed down when we approached the pink poui in bloom. She is a beauty. As we drove past, Elizabeth asked what the big bird in the tree was.P1290835 “What bird?” I asked. “Or is it a piece of stick?” she said.P1290812 I reversed the car so we could get a better look. It was a Northern potoo, on its daytime perch. (And just to note that it’s not a patoo or owl, but a potoo.) I will always remember that day as the day we saw the potoo in the pink poui.P1290819 (2)
Weekly Photo Challenge – Unlikely


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Beeline for the Beach: Weekly Photo Challenge – Lines

“This week, share a photo with a composition dominated by lines — hard or soft, straight or curvy, vertical or horizontal, or made in nature or as part of a cityscape.”

Boardwalk Beach…35 to 40 minutes from Kingston, depending on the traffic…the horizon…the wooden bench and fence…the shadows in the afternoon sun…IMG_20180406_144808_1_resized_20180425_021715201

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Lines