Reckless behavior

Dear Editor,

  I believe that the term is “in proportion to”. I believe that businesses employ in numbers in proportion to their steady clientele. I believe that restaurants also do the same. Yes, I am aware that nowadays because of modern technology in order not to have to be bothered with the so-called aches and pains of hiring human beings more and more the robotic arm is being used. But it still remains that when it is about dealing with human behavior, whether to protect or serve it takes the involvement of another human being.

  I would be that last person to go against the police because I believe that I can count myself among those who really know the ins and outs of policing in St. Maarten. St. Maarten is a unique country and policing should be carried out in a unique way. That is why I do not agree with those who claim that publicly demonstrating will not hamper the police work.

  I know different. I have decided to write this letter today because of the contents of the sermon preached on Sunday, the 11th, in the Anglican Church.

  Part of it was “There are some things you do not do” and that reminded me again of my parents who would always tell us, “Not because something is not forbidden, you should do it if it is not the right thing to do.” The judges, the prosecutors and even the defending lawyers know the reason for having police in a country. When there is an optimal functioning police force this should be just like a heartbeat, silently supporting our life. The visibility of the police has always been a deterrent to crime and it will not change.

  Police action should not be at the expense of the public. Security cameras do great work in policing but as long as there is not the correct follow-up it makes no sense.

  The heading of my letter is reckless behavior, because that is what it is. We have a traffic ordinance which in my view could be thrown out the door. Drivers do what they want in broad daylight because they are not being reprimanded for their reckless behavior.

  The latest infringement that I have witnessed is a female driver with East Indian features. She drove from Cannegieter Street to Back Street, made a U-turn in the intersection Back Street/Hendrikstraat and drove back towards Cannegieter Street. The traffic on Back Street had to back up a little in order for her to be able to complete the U-turn. It was not a rental number.

  It has become a norm for some people who own off-road bikes to drive in opposite direction over the roads like Back Street and the different alleys between Front Street, Back Street and Cannegieter Street. Stopping without pulling to the complete right of the road when using the cell phone to text has become a norm also. Drivers of heavy equipment vehicles constantly disregard the width of the road. I can go on and on with the infringements.

  Sunday mornings on the way to church riders ride two and three next to each other not taking into consideration the row of cars formed behind them. Not to talk about the dark tint and the different ways of driving while using the cell phone.

  Someone asked me one time why is it that on small island like St. Maarten the police are not contented. I have said it for at least 10 years now. When politicians need votes they disregard law and order. And in these last 10 years we know how many elections there were and how much the politicians needed the people, so it became a habit to disregard law and order. And I will challenge anyone of them who has been in government to prove me different and show the people the facts.

  Much work is needed between government along with the police brass and leaders of the police union. The policeman is not a tradesman. His/her duties are not the same as a public servant. The police are there to protect and serve and should not be made to be distracted from that. Too often there are people who did not walk in the policeman’s shoes deciding. This will always cause discontentment. Police officers do not complain, they comply.

Russell A. Simmons