Apart from the music; the fashion; the sniping and the strict lines of social demarcation that mere mortals dare not cross- one of the most interesting features of attending paid community events in Jamaica is the inevitable police invasion.
It is still up for debate as to whether; these invasions are for the purpose of enforcing silence, order and quiet as per the Noise Abatement Act or for the collection of an unnamed and ungazzetted homosexual party tax. Further, it is yet to be determined whether it is fair to say that events in high income residential areas located less than 1 kilometer from Police Headquarters receive more dedicated police attention than those in rural communities where machete wielding is an art form. However, what it is fair to say, is that there is a noticeable change in how community members respond to the inevitable albeit uninvited police presence at parties.
One should not forget that, it was not long ago that the mere mention of the word POLICE would cause persons to rush to exits (no pun intended), hop into their motor vehicles, and engage in acrobatics to be the first out of the gate. In deed at last year’s Summer Circle Party, the police were not even in attendance but just the rumour caused drag queens to lose their heels and morph into boy clothes at whorp speed like Mighty Morphing Power Rangers. Fast forward to the 2010 Valentines Day party where these same drag queens formed a human shield, barrier or condom (depending on your politics) to allow for an orderly retreat by members of the UPT Gliteratti. Yet if one believes that it is only with the Drag Queens and Transvestites where this change has occurred, then one needed to have attended Menage a Trois.
At that event the inevitable did occur, but rather than behaving like scared rats the majority of patrons in attendance merely filed out the building and lymed on the outside. This fact is particularly interesting given that some of the attendees even leaned on each other in the presence of the police.
Now whilst one or even two events cannot by any stretch of the imagination be seen as indicative of a trend, it does probably illustrate an opening, a new dawn for police-community relations. The precise nature of this new dawn is hard to define, worse as a community we have to grapple with the reality that this may be a false dawn. However, considering that the force stands as the guardians of Human Rights, encouragement of cordial relations with the Police Force is in everyone’s best interest. Furthermore, we must never forget that the Police Force is staffed by normal, oxygen inhaling, culturally shaped human beings like the rest of society. Thus if we can record even the most minute of advances especially as it regards the BEAT FOOT Police, there is hope for the rest of society.