Skip to comments.In a turnabout, police are the good guys in post-quake Haiti
Posted on 01/29/2010 11:23:53 PM PST by myknowledge
PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI -- In the hours and days after the city crumbled and the enfeebled government of Haiti disappeared from public view, a remarkable thing happened here: The police showed up for work.
Since the earthquake struck, the once notoriously corrupt Haitian National Police have been doing their jobs and are keeping something approaching law and order in a capital of chaos.
A force previously dominated by thugs has transformed itself, according to international advisers, U.N. police officers and Haitians. In Port-au-Prince today, there is something almost heroic about an officer trying to direct traffic on Grand Rue Dessalines.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
"In the old days, you ran away from the Haitian police, you didn't run toward them. They were the bad guys," said Richard Warren, the U.N. deputy police commissioner in charge of helping the Haitian National Police. "That has changed, and you can see the change with your own eyes."
Haitian police officers are directing traffic at crazy intersections -- and most vehicles actually stop. When drivers ignore them, the police seize their licenses on the spot. The police escort water trucks into desperately thirsty neighborhoods and keep order, which the U.N. forces have not managed to do with food deliveries.
The Haitian police guarded banks, gas stations and cash delivery outlets such as Western Union when they reopened this week.
"When the people see the police now, it makes them feel better," said Erik Bayard, an attendant at what is now one of the city's most functional gas stations. "They help keep things calm, and they keep the rowdy ones away."
Operation Restoration of Order in Port-au-Prince is now in effect, and it's working.
Thanks for posting this. It’s a welcome respite from the ‘we need Papa Doc’ attitude so prevalent towards Haitians these days. Whatever their problems, the Haitian people deserve better than what they had in their past.
There is nothing like an outraged public to lynch a few rogues who need lynching. Then there is a return to mutual, if grudging, respect.
Not sure it’s right to say sinful man “deserves” better but it is God’s will that we should wish them better. The ultimate consequences for adamantly refusing grace are in the next world, not this one.
that’s nice but my not-so-nice self says that they are here to graft what they can...money, as you know, sticks.
Those folks faith is astounding.
Living in the streets, starving, their loved ones crushed, they sing hymns and spiritual songs and talk of traditional stories.
It humbles me beyond words.
The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.
Here’s a guy that I’ve been watching since it happened. I tried to gather all of the comments on singing and praying into together. Most recent post is at the top:
Good night. It’s quiet in haiti. I’ll hear the planes in the distance tonight.The planes have replaced the singing & praying as background about 16 hours ago from web
No homes,no jobs.death.no where to turn.people caught in the rubble.my sleep was peaceful.now I’m awake.reality sets in.sun is about 2 rise 2:56 AM Jan 14th from web
the hospital across the street is putting bodies out on the street.decomposition.we need portable morgues.generators.food.help.evacuation 2:54 AM Jan 14th from web
5:49AM the singing and praying has begun.we won’t begin to understand all that is going on around us for some time to come 2:50 AM Jan 14th from web
We need help with the rubble,help with medical supplies,help with food,water,the singing and praying has begun.God help us all 2:49 AM Jan 14th from web
I look at the sky,see the stars, and it’s as if nothing was wrong. the singing, the praying and the siren bring me back to reality..Haiti 7:58 PM Jan 13th from web
If the nuns at St Gerard wear blue, i saw 4 or 5 sitting,praying in front of the church @selavie10 7:56 PM Jan 13th from web
another aftershock..people are screaming and freaking out down towards the stadium..much singing and praying in large numbers 4:45 PM Jan 12th from web
The praying and singing is getting louder..more and more people are gathering..so much suffering..so much destruction 3:27 PM Jan 13th from web
The St Gerard Church is in PauP behind the Oloffson.It’s destroyed,the school out back collapsed 3:25 PM Jan 13th from web
I’m hearing singing and praying from from the carrefour feuilles area.. My prayers go out to the folks there @sergeoo1 6:26 PM Jan 12th from web
Kinda puts all those lame cell phone commercials in perspective, eh?
“Kinda puts all those lame cell phone commercials in perspective, eh?”
On that same guy’s twitter page there were also lots of “tweets” (or whatever you call them) from folks buried in the rubble using their cell phones. “Henry Depoe buried at 49 Delmars, send help” Spooky.
(My 12-year old daughter asked “How come they all have cell phones but they are all poor?” I think it was ANOTHER hint that she REALLY NEEDS a cell phone!)