A motorcycle approaches Blacktip Island’s troublesome western intersection Thursday morning. The small Caribbean island has been assigned a new police constable responsible for directing traffic in the intersection during peak times. (photo by Wendy Beaufort/Blacktip Times staff)
Blacktip Island Wednesday welcomed its second island police constable, tasked with directing traffic on the small Caribbean island.
“There’s too many close calls at the intersection,” island mayor Jack Cobia said. “It’s a dangerous mix of speeding vehicles and tourists on wobbly resort bikes. Last week a drunk Lee Helm took out three Scuba Doo guests with his scooter.
“It’s worst around lunch time and when the bars open,” Cobia said. “Right before the liquor store closes, too.”
Island residents say the additional constable is past due.
“Public safety demands it,” said Helen Maples. “Yes, we’re a small island with only two roads, but that intersection is a nightmare. Just yesterday a Skerritt Construction truck ran the stop sign and nearly put me in the sea grapes.
“The constable’s not needed all day, you understand, only in the high-traffic times,” Maples said. “Club Scuba Doo donated a big beach umbrella for a shelter when he’s not on the roadway, and Sandy Bottoms’ donated a pool chair.”
The new constable has embraced her new duties.
“Over on Tiperon, you hear horror stories of the traffic on Blacktip,” Island Police Constable Catalina Luxfer said. “That’s going to stop. There’s a new sheriff in town. Motorists will respect my authority.”
The new constable is already a hit with island visitors.
“We didn’t think she was real at first,” Missy Marlin said. “I mean, a traffic cop on a tiny island? Then she moved, and nearly scared us to death. In a good way.
“It’s like the guards at Buckingham Palace,” Marlin said. “When no cars were coming, she posed in the middle of the road and let us take pictures with her.”
Not all residents were happy with the new constable.
“He can talk all he wants about safety, but Jack’s not fooling anyone,” Joey Pompano said. “It’s the first step down an ugly road. First it’s a traffic cop. Then another. The next thing you know, there’s more police than residents.
“Jack’s always been power hungry. This is just his way to take control on the sly,” Pompano said. “He wants a police state, but this is Blacktip. We self-police just fine.”
The island’s other police constable downplayed those fears.
“No one’s taking control of anything,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “Hell, if someone could figure out a way to control anything on this little rock, they’d be up for a Nobel prize.”