I am honored that you have given me this opportunity to say thank you to the commissioner and the officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force for all that they do.
Almost every day, every newspaper’s headline is ablaze with stories of serious crimes — murder, armed robbery, and rape.
To listen to some people, you would think the police are the enemy.
Minister of National Security Wayne Munroe was right on point in his portrayal of how an unkind public views and treats our police officers.
While we understand and sympathize with those suffering the loss of loved ones, due to unfortunate occurrences, let us consider the policemen’s predicament when faced with these dire situations.
What are they supposed to do when fearful for their lives?
The job of a police officer is one that demands a 110 percent effort, 100 percent of the time. But, for some officers, the contributions made in the line of duty are immeasurable.
In recent times, police officers have come under a lot of pressure. Some are hated vehemently. Can you imagine being hated for doing your job like issuing a traffic violation ticket? Others have received minimal thanks for their service and have to watch their backs more.
A few may even question putting on the uniform at the start of a shift.
However, a police friend, he told me, “You never question putting on the uniform. This is your job. This is what you swore to do and, if you have lost your desire to be a part of the institution, you should resign because you would only put the lives of others at risk.”
Besides being underappreciated, police officers are also misunderstood.
Several years ago, around 11 p.m., after leaving work, I was driving past Montague Beach and saw a police car with flashing lights pulled to the side of the road behind a private vehicle. There were several people gathered.
As I approached the scene, people were swearing at and bad-mouthing the policemen because three young men were lying face down on the ground.
The officers calmly went to the vehicle (stolen) and took out ski masks, gloves, a cutlass, and a high-powered loaded gun showed.
In the wake of what they are faced with daily, police officers do not receive the gratitude and thanks they deserve. I grew up surrounded by policemen and have a lot of friends on the force. I have seen the job’s impact on them, and I know what they put their families through.
So, to all the officers, I say, thank you.
Thank you for putting the country that you serve above your family. It takes courage and professionalism to do what you are doing to protect your community.
Police give up holidays, birthdays, and family gatherings. They give up going to school events, sporting events, and games. When duty calls, they drop everything and respond. They give up on so much of their family life to serve and protect us.
Thank you to their families for allowing them to do their jobs.
Thank you for risking your life for mine. Every time they put that uniform on, they put my safety above theirs. They will do anything to make sure that no one gets hurt.
Every time they leave home for another shift, they are not guaranteed to return home. But they still answer every call and do what it takes to rescue a child in danger or end a potentially deadly situation.
A police officer can handle the pressure to make the best decision at that moment. Not many people can knowingly put their lives in danger as these men and women do.
It takes a brave person to deal with the things they do daily.
As in most sectors of society, there is a marginal minority that tends to bring the force into ill repute. Unfortunately, now and then, one or two of our men, who have sworn to serve and protect, may fall into this category.
Commissioner, taking into consideration the circumstances of your inheritance, it is my belief you are doing a good job.
There are so many police officers who go far beyond the call of duty, doing their jobs the best they can. They all deserve to hear a thank you because now, more than ever, their job and their work is underappreciated.
So, to every police officer out there, thank you for everything you do. Thank you for making that choice to protect and serve. Thank you for doing what many of us aren’t brave enough to do.
God bless our Royal Bahamas Police Force.
God bless The Bahamas.
— Anthony Pratt