Can We Have A Reasonable Conversation ..

The appoint­ment of Major General Anthony Anderson as Commissioner of Police in Jamaica should not be viewed in the nar­row parochial way many of us tend to view issues.
There has to be an accep­tance in a ful­some way of the many sides to each and every issue. It is always bet­ter to air out ideas, giv­ing equal time and atten­tion to all sides before arriv­ing at a con­clu­sion.

Of course, those like myself who oppose Anderson’s appoint­ment have no per­son­al vendet­ta against the man, I don’t even know him. Neither am I on a per­son­al cru­sade against the JDF as some closed-mind­ed, intel­lec­tu­al­ly chal­lenged peo­ple are wont to accuse.
Nevertheless, it is always eas­i­er to make ad hominem attacks rather than hav­ing the chutz­pah to have an open debate on the mer­its.

Look, I could roll over and sim­ply sing praise to General Anderson like Keith Trinity Gardner now an attor­ney at law and for­mer Assistant Commissioner of Police, but I can’t, despite what­ev­er suc­cess­es I may have attained the elit­ist club in upper Saint Andrew was nev­er on my buck­et list.


So I have a cou­ple of sug­ges­tions to make (1) I would like to see for­mer Commissioner of Police Carl Williams appoint­ed Governor of the Bank of Jamaica.
By the stan­dard of think­ing in Jamaica being supreme­ly qual­i­fied in one dis­ci­pline qual­i­fies one to do every job right?
Former Commissioner Dr.Carl William Ph.D. has an impres­sive record in law enforce­ment, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the area of nar­cotics and he has writ­ten pol­i­cy papers on crime in Jamaica, most notably ‘Consequences of the War on Drugs: The Jamaican Experience. http://​dig​ja​maica​.com/​b​l​o​g​/​2​0​1​4​/​0​9​/​0​9​/​w​h​o​-​i​s​-​p​o​l​i​c​e​-​c​o​m​m​i​s​s​i​o​n​e​r​-​d​e​s​i​g​n​a​t​e​-​c​a​r​l​-​w​i​l​l​i​a​ms/

I’m not sure what Dr. Williams is doing these days but I say let’s remove the BOJ head and make him the Governor[sic].
While we are at it (2) Portia Simpson Miller has attained the high­est exec­u­tive office in our coun­try, she is now out of work I’m sure Sista P would like to be back being use­ful so why not make her head of neu­ro­surgery up there at Mona?

You see qual­i­fi­ca­tion is qual­i­fi­ca­tion so it does not mat­ter if you have a lib­er­al arts degree you are cer­tain­ly qual­i­fied to fly an air­plane right?[sic]
What do you mean no? So you are say­ing whats good for the Goose isn’t good for the Gander? Oh, I see.….…So the fal­la­cy of the Anderson appoint­ment as the sav­ior of polic­ing in Jamaica just crum­bled under the light of a lit­tle scruti­ny.

Like I said I have zero desire to move to Upper St Andrew or rub shoul­ders with the large­ly pre­ten­tious hyp­ocrites who live there. I have no desire to go to their lit­tle Kiwanis club­hous­es, and I cer­tain­ly do not crave their friend­ship.
Sorry, Mister Keith Gardner.
I cer­tain­ly could buy a house where they live if I want­ed to, by I’m a sim­ple coun­try boy from rur­al St, Catherine who like real peo­ple, and oh despite liv­ing in a for­eign land since 1991 my Jamaican accent is still the same.


The bot­tom line is that Jamaica has resilient peo­ple many of whom have accom­plished excep­tion­al things par­tic­u­lar­ly in the area of Education and Sports. Whatever we put our minds to we gen­er­al­ly stand out and are eas­i­ly iden­ti­fied. Unfortunately, there is anoth­er side of our Jamaican-ness the fame of Usain Bolt and Anthony Anderson is always coun­tered by the infamy of our worst crim­i­nals.

As we cel­e­brate the accom­plish­ments of our best we have to be guard­ed that the actions of our worse are appro­pri­ate­ly coun­tered by the best trained, best expe­ri­enced to do the job.
We have to have the best doc­tors treat­ing our sick, not the best bankers. We must have the best lawyers defend­ing our inter­est in a court of law, not the best fire­men.

Despite Anderson’s impres­sive resume,^ as a sol­dier, he is exact­ly that, a sol­dier, not a cop. The best indi­ca­tor for a way for­ward is to look at prece­dent.
Twice before have for­mer heads been para­chut­ed in to save the Constabulary with dis­as­trous con­se­quences.
The best way to fix the Constabulary is to fix the con­stab­u­lary.
Imagine drag­ging an unwell pilot out of the cock­pit and plac­ing the flight atten­dant in his seat with the hope of a pleas­ant land­ing.
If the Pilot can­not be resus­ci­tat­ed it’s up to the co-pilot to take over not the flight atten­dant.
What is it in the his­to­ry of the JDF which makes it’s ex-offices equipped to fix every prob­lem in our coun­try?
From Football to the vot­ing rolls to every­thing in between, I don’t get it?

Apart from the many years of train­ing and edu­ca­tion which goes into the ele­va­tion to the top­most posi­tions in police depart­ments the exper­tise gar­nered over the course of time is invalu­able to the dis­ci­pline.
Even more con­se­quen­tial to the debate is the ques­tion of morale at the entry lev­el. As I point­ed out in a recent arti­cle, morale is par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant in a job like the police force in which offers sub-stan­dard remu­ner­a­tions, lack of polit­i­cal sup­port, poor work­ing con­di­tions, lack and a short­age of equip­ment and tools and an over­abun­dance of dan­ger at all lev­els.
That dan­ger is ever present even when they do their jobs by the book in a coun­try like Jamaica in which the jus­tice sys­tem is heav­i­ly slant­ed toward the pro­tec­tion of crim­i­nals.

The idea that each con­sta­ble can be com­mis­sion­er has been a valu­able car­rot to the oth­er­wise harsh stick of being a police offi­cer in the hos­tile Jamaican work­ing envi­ron­ment. Take that away and the harm will be cat­a­stroph­ic.
At present, the police force strug­gles to attract enough new can­di­dates to fill recruit­ment require­ments. On the oth­er hand, rough­ly 600 offi­cers are walk­ing away from the JCF each year.

The Minister of National Security recent­ly bragged that few­er police offi­cers are leav­ing the depart­ment which is actu­al­ly laugh­able because under the recent­ly passed ZOSO law the Government cod­i­fied into law pro­vi­sions which crim­i­nal­ize police offi­cers for dar­ing to leave the JCF with­out giv­ing a 6‑month advanced notice to the depart­ment.

How the Minister is able to deter­mine that few­er offi­cers are leav­ing as a result of any strat­e­gy out­side that dra­con­ian pro­vi­sion in the ZOSO law, giv­en insuf­fi­cient time for the data to be cred­i­ble is beyond me.
Former JDF head Hardly Lewin, who was also one of the fire­men asked to do heart surgery[sic] claims Anthony Anderson will be suc­cess­ful because he has the sup­port of the polit­i­cal direc­torate.
His state­ment is con­fir­ma­tion of what I have per­son­al­ly believed and spo­ken to. The high crime rate is not a prob­lem attrib­ut­able to the police but a prob­lem of a lack of leg­isla­tive sup­port so that offi­cers may have a rea­son­able shot at get­ting it right.

When all is said and done, if we do not fix the areas of resources, leg­isla­tive sup­port, bet­ter pay, and respect for our police offi­cers, crime will not ever decrease. You can pre­tend the prob­lem is the police and point fin­gers in order to avoid respon­si­bil­i­ty.
There may even be some sil­ly offi­cers past and present who believe the police will do bet­ter by hav­ing an over­lord para­chut­ed in.
The fact of the mat­ter is that there are some fun­da­men­tal changes need­ed which has noth­ing to do with who sits in a chair at 103 Old Hope Road but with the 63 dimwits who bang on desks in that build­ing on Duke Street.

One thought on “Can We Have A Reasonable Conversation ..

  1. Mike, I enjoy read­ing the arti­cle. It’s sur­pris­ing how “Trinity” has become an advo­cate for the elit­ists, and it was the same peo­ple who want­ed him to go to prison for killing his wife. It was us, mem­bers of the Jamaican Constabulary Force dur­ing his ordeal nev­er aban­doned him or throw him to the wolves.

    The love that I have for the police force I did the entrance exam/​test in August 1986, when oth­ers were plan­ning on fur­ther­ing their edu­ca­tion. I was for­ward to the dream job of mine, want­i­ng to be a police offi­cer and then a Detective. It was Douglas Guthrie style of polic­ing left that last­ing impres­sion on me as a lit­tle boy grow­ing up.

    As long as I am alive, I will nev­er for­get where I am com­ing from and the orga­ni­za­tion that has helped me to become a no-non­sense man. The Jamaican Constabulary Force is my first expe­ri­ence of grad­u­at­ing from any sig­nif­i­cant insti­tu­tion in Jamaica. I went to the Jamaican Police Academy as a CADET and the love for the orga­ni­za­tion has nev­er changed.

    The cor­rup­tion in Jamaican Constabulary Force is the work­ing, med­dling, and inter­fer­ence by the elit­ists, busi­ness lead­ers and the polit­i­cal lead­ers there. So those who are denounc­ing, demor­al­iz­ing, and den­i­grat­ing the mem­bers need to look in mir­rors because most of them are the MOST cor­rup­tors in Jamaica.

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