I’m an informer!
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.