Dear Mr. Editor,
Many of your readers, local and international, would know about a popular comedy show from the 60′s – The Andy Griffith Show. For local viewers, it airs on Marpin2K4 Ltd. in the evenings.
The character, Barney Fife, is the deputy sherrif, who wears a tie, carries a gun, and gives a ticket to everybody for any and everything, and has no problem throwing his best friend in jail for jaywalking. The Sherrif, Andy Taylor, on the other hand, wears no tie, carries no gun, and applies a human touch to every situation except the more serious infringements of the law.
In the small community of Mayberry, it is obviously Andy, the Sherrif, who gets the more respect and co-operation from the public when it is needed.
A good lawyer is not the one who wants to fly to court for everything, but the one who tries to avert that outcome through reasoning and negotiation and mediation.
It seems that we have a lot of police officers in Dominica who believe what makes them good cops is enforcing the law to the letter at all times, no matter the situation, and no matter who is involved. I say no! It is the policemen and policewomen who behave like Sherrif Taylor. Have we noticed that there is no situation that the sherrif has failed to bring an amicable resolution to at all times. True, it’s TV, but they say art imitates life.
I was given a traffic ticket the other day, which I felt was wholly unjustified. But do you think the ASP in charge of traffic would listen to me? As far as she was concerned, her officer and her department were right, and that was that , end of story. Pay your ticket! At a point in the conversation, I had to practically demand my right to speak and give my side of the issue.
Now, any body on the face of the earth who knows me knows that I have never broken the law, and when it comes to traffic issues, I am virtually a Saint.
I don’t want any favors from anybody, but for Heaven’s sake, it’s not as if she doesn’t know me, it’s not as if I harmed anyone or caused any disruption in anyway. The officer might have thought about some way she might need someone like me in the future.
The Big Stick attitude and “I’m the law” mentality is not what makes you a good cop, Miss ASP, and it’s the kind of behavior and personality trait which prevents the public from helping the police when they need that help most. You look out for me, I’ll look out for you too.
I can never be accused of being an unreasonable man. I just think police officers, especially senior ones, ought to know when to make a little adjustment from time to time in the way they carry out their functions. It will make for better outcomes in the long run.
Yes, I paid my ticket to avoid wasting time in court and losing income. It hurt, but I have certain characteristics just like an elephant.
Thanks for your space.
Dr. Victor Emanuel, M.D.
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