A few days ago I wrote a short article in which I spoke to assertions made by the Gleaner’s Editorial page critique of the Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson,s silence since he took office, over five months ago.
Many readers were aghast, some angry that I dared to argue that Anderson was silent largely because he was learning on the job.
My comments weren’t exactly pejorative, they were simply stating indisputable facts.
Anderson, [regardless of how sharp he is], cannot speak to issues which he knows nothing about.
Those are facts, so everytime Jamaican authorities convince you that they are about to place a square peg in a round hole and you are all gleeful because you are told by the media elites that no one else can do the job, be prepared to lose some of your lives waiting for results.
Though no fan of outsiders running the force by any stretch, I have zero ability to impact political decisions anywhere in the world, least of all in Jamaica.
I have to live with their choices like everyone else, but since hope is not a strategy those of us with a voice must raise them where necessary to congratulate their successes but certainly to speak out when they fall short of their mandates.
I loved the JCF because of the nobility of its mission nevertheless, I was moved to exit rather quickly because of what I saw during my brief stay.
Not only was the leadership bereft of ideas and expertise, those who aspired to replace those in leadership largely subscribed to the very same brand of leadership. A leadership which was defined by cronyism, nepotism, slavish political ideology, news carrying and a general culture of incompetence and dysfunction.
In the jockeying for attention amidst that chaos, there was precious little time left for criminal intelligence continuity.
The foregone though not comprehensive in speaking to the ills of the leadership, gives a bird’s eye view of what obtains, as well as the way that dysfunction created a rank and file which was forced to jockey for attention as well, in many cases acting against their own long-term self-interest.
As a consequence, many of the members of the rank and file who spent their working lives in the department without reaching the gazetted ranks still struggle unfortunately to understand how the force is and has been less than efficient on all fronts, including the way they were treated during their service.
Whether this is a result of a lack of education and or exposure I will leave that judgment call to others, sufficing to say that far too many are stuck in the narrow confines of the force even years after they were liberated.
ANDERSON SPEAKS THE TRUTH, WILL MY CRITICS TAKE IT FROM HIM?
I don’t know Antony Anderson but It seems to me that unlike some of his supporters that there is one positive thing to be said about him, he speaks the truth.
Speaking at a Gleaner’s Editor’s forum on Thursday Anderson speaking to the very same silence perception said the following.
“So I have been in for five months, and the first thing you have to do when coming into the job is to pay attention to the most pressing concerns in the public space, which at the time, was the rate of murders. We were trending downwards, but we were still above last year,“
Anderson went on, “As someone who came to the JCF from the outside, I did not know everything about the organization even though I spent a career close to it.
There’s still a lot to learn when you come in, and, obviously, you want to see how much talent there is, where it is, and why it is that the public feel the way they do about the JCF. I had to understand that and what concerns the police officers internally also.”
Understanding what concerns the police officers should not be an afterthought, it ought to be job one. It’s interesting that he had to articulate that, even though he was close to the force he did not know anything about it’s operations.
A lesson for those who believe that a mechanical engineer is qualified to perform brain surgery.
Yes, learning on the job consumes time, valuable time which cost lives and massive hurt for innocent people.
Anderson is benefitting from the declaration of the state of emergency which saw large contingents of police and soldiers being dropped into parts of Saint James and St Catherine.
This though really important, is unsustainable. Those with a little memory will recall just how serious crimes took a precipitous drop after the security forces show of force in Tivoli Gardens.
This is no different, and so the idea that he is strategizing , bringing himself and the Agency up to speed, will only hold as long as the state of emergency is in place.
The deference and support he is receiving are remarkable though it is not infinite.
Drop the Mic.