Dear Editor,

  I am ready for responses like "That was then" and "He'n know wah goin' on" but in all my years being involved in the police I have never witnessed the kind of public dispute that is going on between the members of the current Sint Maarten Police force and the Minister of Justice. Let me state this before continuing. If those members of Parliament had continued with the trend of toppling the Sint Maarten government, who would the Sint Maarten Police Association have to strike against or threaten with a 'go slow? I am constantly hearing the name of the president of the Police Union mentioned, but what  bothers me more is that in all of this I cannot recall hearing anything from the Chief of Police who is responsible for the optimal functioning of the police force and should have a policy primarily based on the protection of the community.

  Along with that there should be what I know as a "driehoeks overleg"  A periodical consultation between the Minister of Justice, the Prosecutor and the Chief of Police, concerning police operations. I have never been to any of these consultations but I believe that from the side of the Prosecutor the types of fines given out  should be discussed, in order to maintain a well-balanced control on crime. That is why I am curious about the silence to phantom behaviour of the Chief of Police during all these times. His name is never mentioned and I ask myself, why not? I am a citizen of Sint Maarten and no matter who I am, when, because of G.E.B.E there is a blackout, I also am in darkness for the lack of solar power, which world-wide  has become the energy of the day. Meaning when things go wrong all over the island, everybody (just like no one can escape death) is affected.

  But right now that is not the matter at hand. So, why is the Police Chief keeping his silence and have the police do at least the minimum? There are so many infringements committed constantly. Just to name a few, black tint, stopping  and parking anywhere, stopping and getting out of the car leaving the door on the driver's side open in the middle of the opposite driving lane, gypsies picking up passengers without pulling over, even permitting them to enter the car on the side of the oncoming traffic and then they are admonishing drivers who are creeping in rush-hour traffic to put on the seat belt, whereas drivers with phone in one hand blowing to greet the police with the other and the police acknowledges and returns the greeting.

  Since I am talking about using the cell phone while operating a motor vehicle, this is the – let me call it the cutest one I observed. A female driver  came out of Subway with what she had purchased in one hand, while speaking on the cell phone which she held to her right ear. She put what she had bought on the top of the car, which was parked facing the building and  got her keys, while still talking on the phone. She opened the car, took the item she had purchased off the roof of the car, put it in the car, all of this while still talking on the phone. During all this she was moving the phone from hand to hand, while keeping the phone on her right ear. I could not see what transpired before when she got behind the wheel from the angle that I was standing opposed to her position.

  She was given the opportunity to reverse out the parking space by another driver. And believe it or not, that female driver was still talking on the phone while manoeuvring to get out of that parking space in front of Subway on Nisbeth Road. All of this does not necessarily require standing on the side of the road and stopping cars, this kind of behaviour by drivers has become the thing the day.  I forgot to mention the number of cars which are decorated like a Christmas tree and are on the road twenty-four-seven. If I can see it those who are there to do that job should also see it  and so should everybody in authority.  

  If they are of conscientious and responsible nature, I should not have to be writing this letter to you. No one should ever use the police who is supposed to protect everyone, in order to get at the Minister of Justice, the only person who is visibly working to remedy the situation at hand. On the contrary, they should all, Ministers as well as Members of Parliament demonstrate maturity and stand up behind the Minister for the good of the country. Or are they preparing to concoct this and disperse it to the electorate? The Minister may have to use diplomacy, but that is not my task. History has shown that when the chief of police does not cooperate with the legal desires of the Minister of Justice, the chief of police has to go. Are these not the same police who nobody in government has done anything for since 10-10-10? On the ninth of December 1965, the head of the police school in Curaçao said to our graduating class. "If you go out there and do your work consistently, you can earn your own salary, because no matter what they have learned about the traffic rules, they do not adhere to them. As a veteran I know that to be a fact".

  I would like to see who is really making an effort to put Sint Maarten first.

Russell Simmons

The Daily Herald

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