It May Be Time For Officers Above Inspectors To Be Re-interviewed For Their Jobs ..

Having lis­tened to Deputy Commissioner of Police Clifford Blake’s speech to grad­u­at­ing traf­fic cops I was stunned. Yet his ram­bling charge to the junior offi­cers con­vinced me that with lead­er­ship like Blakes, the coun­try is in for a rough future.

The nation’s streets are a chaot­ic mess of unruly dri­vers which requires a much more strin­gent enforce­ment régime yet Blake’s charge to the grad­u­at­ing offi­cers pret­ty much amount­ed to rolling over and allow­ing the sta­tus quo.

Blake a senior offi­cer bear­ing the title of deputy commissioner[a heart­beat from the com­mis­sion­er’s chair] failed to rec­og­nize a fun­da­men­tal flaw in the argu­ments he prof­fered to the men and women under his com­mand.
Policing is not like the mil­i­tary.

DCP Clifford Blake

Each and every offi­cer makes deci­sions to arrest or not on their own voli­tion. The last joined con­sta­ble’s pow­er of arrest is no less than that of the chief con­sta­ble [the com­mis­sion­er of police].
The actions each con­sta­ble takes in their dai­ly rou­tine must be backed up and sup­port­ed by the laws of Jamaica. As a con­se­quence, each con­sta­ble is respon­si­ble for the fall­out from his/​her actions if they are out­side the bounds of what the laws allow.

Police depart­ments can devel­op poli­cies but they can­not change laws, nei­ther do com­man­ders [a‑la], Clifford Blake has author­i­ty under the law to direct offi­cers [under his com­mand or not] to cir­cum­vent their own judg­ments with his desire for less enforce­ment and a more dis­cre­tionary approach to their jobs.

I was not sur­prised that Blake’s ram­bling address would be geared at chid­ing offi­cers for doing their duties, at a time when the coun­try needs much more offi­cers who are ded­i­cat­ed to enforc­ing the nation’s laws instead of cut­ting deals or turn­ing a blind eye to the car­nage.
There is always a need to exer­cise dis­cre­tion yet the police offi­cers on the ground should not be in the busi­ness of cut­ting slack to a woman going to church dri­ving an unreg­is­tered auto­mo­bile.
What if she hit and injured or God for­bid, kill some­one, what then would Blake do or say, would he step to the fore and defend that junior cop who cut that motorist some slack?
Or would Clifford Blake be first in line to talk about junior offi­cers not fol­low­ing the law as is his modus operan­di?

Many who know Clifford Blake tells me that is his modus operan­di.
One offi­cer told me of his career com­ing to a screech­ing halt because he wrote a traf­fic tick­et for Robot Car owned by Blake years ago, accord­ing to the offi­cer Blake was an inspec­tor at the time.
It seems to me that it is that kind of con­nivance which Blake brought to the Commissioner Rank and to that traf­fic offi­cers grad­u­a­tion.

What does it say about the JCF, at a time when the coun­try is suf­fo­cat­ing from crime, that a senior com­man­der who has oper­a­tional respon­si­bil­i­ty for the over­all coun­try wants con­ces­sion as against enforce­ment?
It is against this back­ground that this pub­li­ca­tion comes to the posi­tion that the senior man­age­ment of the force is not up to the job of return­ing the coun­try to any degree of safe­ty or is far too com­pro­mised to do so.

It is against that back­ground that it may be time to end the employ­ment of every sin­gle offi­cer above the rank of Inspector and below the Commissioner of Police and have a sea­soned pan­el of police com­man­ders from respect­ed police depart­ments in the United States or Canada inter­view appli­cants from those who wish to rejoin the JCF as com­man­ders. 

The nation needs to get bet­ter returns on its invest­ments, this is where the prob­lem lies, it is where it has always lain. At the most senior lev­els of the force.
As I have said repeat­ed­ly s**t does not flow upstream. The rot and lack of lead­er­ship are in the senior core of the police depart­ment not in the rank and file.

♦It has always been senior offi­cers who con­tin­ue to dri­ve home the police cars which should patrol the streets even though they receive allowances for trav­el.
♦It has always been senior offi­cers who stood in the way of enforce­ment of our laws through their affil­i­a­tions with law­break­ers and those in the soci­ety who believe the laws should not apply to them.

♦It was always senior offi­cers who received envelopes stuffed with cash from law-break­ers effec­tive­ly erod­ing the author­i­ty of the junior offi­cers on the streets who do actu­al polic­ing.
♦It was always senior offi­cers who col­lud­ed with politi­cians to trans­fer hard work­ing cops from divi­sions because gun­men loy­al to the politi­cians are being hound­ed.

♦It was always senior offi­cers who lack lead­er­ship and con­ti­nu­ity of focus which affects not just enforce­ment but the out­come of inves­ti­ga­tions.
♦It was always senior offi­cers who lacked lead­er­ship skills forc­ing the high attri­tion that has plagued the force.
♦It is the incom­pe­tence of senior offi­cers which caused the traf­fic pile-up on the sole high­way lead­ing into the (NMIA)inconveniencing the trav­el­ing pub­lic great­ly.
♦ It is the senior offi­cer’s corp which has not demon­strat­ed the nec­es­sary polic­ing tech­niques com­men­su­rate with 21st-cen­tu­ry crime fight­ing.

With that under­stand­ing, the time has come to have greater account­abil­i­ty from that group of pub­lic ser­vants.
Given a sit­u­a­tion in which the Government adopts the posi­tion I artic­u­late it would be shock­ing to see the num­ber of senior offi­cers who would fail to qual­i­fy for the posi­tions they now hold.