Thursday, February 22, 2018

Making a difference


The intervention of strangers to attend to the welfare of a man in south Trinidad last December is a welcome bit of good news to remind the national mind of all the good that resides here.

It also shows how the actions of individuals, often overwhelmed by pervasive negativity, can make a difference.

As reported by the Express South Bureau yesterday, a resident of Hubert Rance Street, Vistabella, noticed a man lying on an empty piece of land near her home on December 29. She described the man as frail and wearing rags; the man, said the resident, looked like he had not eaten in days. The resident said the man had slept overnight in torrential rain and was covered with a wet blanket.

Uncertain about his state of mind, the resident said she wanted to help him but was concerned he might become violent. Unable to manifest her compassion by physically assisting him herself, the resident called the police, who initiated another series of thoughtful and compassionate actions.

According to a letter penned by Rajiv Budhooram and Feroza Mohammed, constables Mark Balkaran and Anthony Patrick of the Marabella Police Station “exhibited pride in performing their duty. Within 15 minutes of the arrival of these two hard-working officers and with the assistance of the residents, they managed to feed and clothe (the man) and get medical attention (for him) from the appropriate authorities. The residents would like to thank these two police officers for their act of kindness and exemplary service to the community in this time of need. A truly heart-warming example of the Police Service at its best. Kudos to the Marabella Police Station and to the officers.”

The Express was told that the man was taken to the San Fernando General Hospital where he is being treated and rehabilitated.

There are lessons here for the population. Underwriting the label “national community” is an invitation for all citizens to see ourselves as part of a whole and to translate the spirit of oneness evident in smaller groupings to the national level. Implied in the term, too, is that all citizens have a role to play in contributing to the uplift and rescue of the society. Residents of Hubert Rance Street, Marabella, have on this occasion given meaning to the words.

Officer Balkaran and Patrick, the Marabella Police Station and the TTPS can be proud of themselves for setting an example for others in law enforcement. It is unlikely that the manner of this intervention by the police is unique. This newspaper is certain that other law enforcement officers conduct themselves similarly, and we encourage the TTPS to highlight them and their actions. This, we believe, would help in no small measure to increase public faith in an institution on which we all depend, and hold up to other officers models of behaviour that do not always come easily in law enforcement culture.