Integrity matters in national security

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EDITORIAL 

Up and down the Caribbean the dangers of crime, travel advisory, fear and the chain of command, display the linctus of the unmanageable crime situation.

But does opting for integrity appeal to those who commit exceptional circumstances of fear, committing crime [hired guns], ignore experts or facilitate corruption [turning a blind eye, action/inaction] – causing our security not only to be threatened but under siege?

Caribbean News Global (CNG) article noted, St Lucia’s police force is beyond repair. The article pleads for clarity while interpretation exists, why, Saint Lucia records 62 homicides, [as of publication 66 homicides]. Meanwhile guns, drugs, and gangs operate at will, state authorities say nothing, do nothing and see nothing. The National security minister has openly stated he has ‘no disciplinary powers’; the Commissioner of Police (Ag.) is a decorated police officer.

The threshold question for integrity matters, public trust and the principle of transparency add to elected representatives; notable of many political speeches, seemed more concerned with political governance, protecting reputations and the exceptional circumstances of seeking amendments – ‘safeguards’ – than with stamping out corruption. And what about elected representatives who contend that they have nothing to hide and/or lose?

A video release from the Office of the prime minister (OPM) minister for national security Philip J. Pierre, elucidated that it continues to hold regular dialogue with members of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force [RSLPF].

“At a recent meeting with RSLPF personnel, including the members of the high command, rank and file police officers, prime minister Pierre confronted the issue of corruption within the police force and made clear his non-negotiable, zero tolerance position on the matter.” ~ The OPM release added: “ The prime minister is confident that the vast majority of the RSLPF are upstanding law enforcement officers.”

Integrity is fundamental. It carries heavy significance and counts to amply reward to compromise the bond of trust.

Corruption is wrong. Corruption is bad. Elected representatives need to act decisively than posture about restoring public trust on the platform of integrity.

Hence, is there a mitigating agenda to address corruption without integrity?

“The recourse of political victory with alleged support from the RSLPF can be construed as more talk than action [with them] on corrupt behaviour,” said a Washington, DC, expert on forensic science. “This is politics and not a bona fide approach to sanitize national security institutions.”

Embedding larger goals is a necessary first step to success, considering, the downside of superficial crime management in Saint Lucia.

“This is a very serious problem for the hospitals, and it continues to strain our services, and medical care is diverted from regular care to emergencies. When you have emergencies, you can well imagine almost all hands have to be on deck,” minister for health, Moses Jn Baptiste explained. “So this is a serious problem, and we continue to advocate for more peaceful means of settling disputes. But also we continue to advocate [to] the whole of society to assist the police in getting to the bottom of these homicides.”

Prime minister Pierre continues to make needed investments in law enforcement and police administration. In under two years since assuming office, he has secured agreements to commence construction work on the northern divisional police headquarters and rehabilitation work on the Vieux-Fort police state. The approximate value of the two construction projects exceeds XCD$38 million.

Failure to meet standards is a feasible conjecturer of greater responsibility at the strategic level of governance and senior management.

Significantly, the lack of integrity reflects personal and professional conviction, as well; as profiting on the public trust in the consecration of tarnished judgment, places national security at risk.

Competency and a thoroughly integral component of a leader’s character [political leaders, RSLPF high command, elected representatives] rather than a preloaded, well-embedded exercise of language – must transfer to action within assimilated skill-set, and not an intuitive trait of political authority.

Thus, exhuming the dead for the sake of politics, may not be a bad idea in the context of Saint Lucia’s politics, crime and forensic science. As it is well-known that political governance is the lifeblood of Saint Lucia. And more recently, the focus is simply to run a narrative no matter how contradictory or far removed it is from reality.

It’s about survival noted a CNG forensic contributor: “Science allows dispelling the book of lies from deception and perception of “ good law-abiding officers”. Science provides the stats to validate data and hard evidence. Science is available to alleviate that the RSLPF “is perceived institutionally and systemically corrupt” beyond repair.”

Corruption is deeply entrenched in Saint Lucia – seemingly known to the high command of government and the RSLPF: hitherto, is a helpless situation in the disconnect of incompetence to perform, making the rhetoric of speech – relevant to the urgency of stepping up their game – more difficult.

“Output is projected to gradually recover to the pre-pandemic level by 2024, slowed by the impacts of the war in Ukraine and the tightening of global financial conditions,” IMF.

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