I’m an in­former!

Jamaica Gleaner - - RURAL XPRESS - Orantes Moore Gleaner Writer ru­ral@glean­erjm.com ru­ral@glean­erjm.com

Jus­tice of the peace says his duty is to main­tain law and or­der

LUCKY HILL, St Mary: ARMER AND re­tired busi­ness­man Lloyd ‘Busher’ Neil agrees with Jus­tice Min­is­ter Del­roy Chuck’s am­bi­tious plan to in­crease the num­ber of jus­tices of the peace (JPs), but in­sists that ap­pli­cants should un­dergo a rig­or­ous vet­ting process to en­sure their in­ten­tions are sin­cere.

In a bid to help tackle the coun­try’s es­ca­lat­ing crime prob­lem, last month Chuck an­nounced plans to dou­ble the num­ber of JPs to 12,000, and al­though Neil ac­knowl­edges the move would im­prove se­cu­rity in lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, he is nev­er­the­less of the view that se­lect­ing just a hand­ful of bad can­di­dates would fur­ther es­ca­late crime and vi­o­lence.

The for­mer shop owner from Lucky Hill, St Mary, told Ru­ral Xpress: “Here in St Mary, the JPs are try­ing their best to do more to en­gage with their com­mu­ni­ties. I have been a JP for over 20 years now, and I’m one of the peo­ple try­ing to re­cruit new JPs who are bet­ter than my­self; but you have to be very care­ful who you en­cour­age to be a jus­tice of the peace.

FTHE BIG­GEST PROB­LEM

“You have to watch them and see how they grow up, be­cause if you put a jus­tice of the peace into the sys­tem who is cor­rupt and a crim­i­nal, he will mash up the sys­tem com­pletely, and we can’t af­ford that.

“When you see a young per­son reach a stage of ma­tu­rity in their life, and they are do­ing some­thing for them­selves, you en­cour­age them, but you can’t take up just any­body be­cause Farmer and re­tired busi­ness­man Lloyd ‘Busher’ Neil.

it’s very dif­fi­cult to tell who is go­ing to be­come cor­rupt in the fu­ture.”

Neil claims that poor par­ent­ing has led to a sit­u­a­tion where few young peo­ple re­spect their el­ders, and be­lieves law and or­der can only be re­stored if cit­i­zens are will­ing to work with the po­lice.

He ex­plained: “I think par­ent­ing is the big­gest prob­lem we have. Here, in the district of Jef­frey Town, up to last week, one woman had three sons who died by the gun; one hasn’t even been buried yet. Home train­ing is a prob­lem be­cause when I was young, I couldn’t even think of steal­ing. I would al­ways try and find some way to utilise my hands.

“And I work with the po­lice.

You can say I’m an in­former be­cause I’m a jus­tice of the peace who works with the law, but if I hear a man is steal­ing, I’m go­ing to tell the po­lice. You can call me an in­former, that doesn’t mat­ter to me.

“The prob­lem in St Mary is that we have a lot of agen­cies en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to do farm­ing and all dif­fer­ent types of work, but they are not work­ing. Jef­frey Town is one of the big­gest dis­tricts in the par­ish, but it also has some of the most idlers (laughs).

“These days, every­body wants hand­outs. Ev­ery young boy you see is look­ing for a handout, and the po­lice are ham­pered by a lack of trans­port, per­son­nel and re­sources.” COM­FORT, Manch­ester: HE IS loved by many and ad­mired by all as a man who is ac­tively en­gaged in the busi­ness of mould­ing minds and pos­i­tively trans­form­ing lives.

Melvin Pow­ell has given 46 years of his life to serv­ing in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor; most of which he has spent at the Com­fort Ba­sic School in the ca­pac­ity as prin­ci­pal.

With no for­mal teacher train­ing ini­tially, but an ad­mirable trait of con­sis­tently striv­ing for ex­cel­lence, Pow­ell was asked to take over the reins of the in­sti­tu­tion and has never dis­ap­pointed those look­ing on.

“I started in ed­u­ca­tion at a time when my church was ex­tend­ing it­self and we started a Sun­day school in the area. The per­son I worked with, she had a ba­sic school go­ing, but the op­por­tu­nity came up for her to move on to an­other in­sti­tu­tion and she asked me to take over the school,” he said

CA­REER AND EX­PE­RI­ENCES

While at the school, Pow­ell be­came cer­ti­fied at the Univer­sity of the West Indies in ear­ly­child­hood ed­u­ca­tion and later pur­sued a mas­ter’s de­gree in meta­physics.

Amid all his ac­com­plish­ments and ac­co­lades, Pow­ell is ad­mired mostly for his hu­mil­ity and his will­ing­ness to do all he can for the de­vel­op­ment of the school and the com­fort of the chil­dren; even if it means tak­ing on jan­i­to­rial du­ties.

“If I have to be, I am the plumber, the car­pen­ter ... I re­mem­ber at one point I used to go there early on a Mon­day morn­ing around 5 o’ clock and clean, be­cause the school could not af­ford a jan­i­tor. I re­mem­ber at one point in the past, I mis­in­formed my staff about the reopening of school and they didn’t turn up that week. I had to go into school early and cook and then, af­ter all of that, I had to take all three classes,” Pow­ell told Ru­ral Xpress

To date, Pow­ell’s most mem­o­rable mo­ment at the in­sti­tu­tion was the day he was able to save a child’s life.

“The child swal­lowed a mar­ble and it was block­ing the air pas­sage. Hav­ing been trained in meta­physics, I quickly did my thing and I got the child to ex­pel the mar­ble from the air Ed­u­ca­tor ex­traor­di­naire Melvin Pow­ell.

track. The child was about five years and af­ter ev­ery­thing, I said, ‘My God, I saved a child’s life,’” Pow­ell told Ru­ral Xpress.

Though Pow­ell would not trade his teach­ing ca­reer and ex­pe­ri­ences for any­thing, he does have a few ideas for an im­proved ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor.

“I am happy for the task that has been as­signed me, I have no re­grets. How­ever, what I’m dis­ap­pointed with is re­mu­ner­a­tion in terms of par­ent and Gov­ern­ment’s re­spon­si­bil­ity. On a daily ba­sis, I have to cre­ate mir­a­cles. The fi­nance is not there and it’s not com­ing from the par­ents, and it’s not com­ing from the Gov­ern­ment,” he lamented.

PHOTO BY ORANTES MOORE

PHOTO BY TAMARA BAI­LEY

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