Despite rejecting all forms of illegality, a former police officer, who asked not to be identified, has nonetheless said that the culture of extravagance that exists in St James, especially Montego Bay, is putting pressure on young police personnel to live above their means, which sometimes lure them into criminal activities.
According to the former lawman, a young policeman who gets stationed in a deep rural parish finds it much easier to live off his salary, which is usually in the region of $100,000 per month, than one in an urban centre like Montego Bay, where the cost of rent, food, and social amenities is much higher.
“In a rural community, a young cop could get a decent place to rent for $10,000 a month, but in a place like Montego Bay, rent in a safe community could run you as much as $30,000 per month … you could get cheaper rent, but it would mean living in an inner-city-style community, which is usually not safe or ideal in other ways,” said the former cop.
“The ‘hot girls’ in Montego Bay don’t come cheap … when you think about the Brazilian hair, the manicure and pedicure, the $20,000 dresses, the expensive food and drinks at the sports bars, plus the assistance they are seeking towards their rent and utility bills, you could end up blowing the entire month’s salary without putting away a dollar in savings,” the former lawman said.
While noting that a mature-thinking, young policeman will bypass the distractions and live up to his oath to protect and serve, others, like the three police officers who were arrested in a drug bust in the United States last week, sometimes find it difficult not to yield to temptation.