Whether you are a fan of the Zones Of Special Operations initiative or not, it is difficult to argue against the fact that large amounts of security personnel in an area invariably lowers crime in that area.
(ZOSO) As the initiative is known, surely has its detractors for varying reasons.
This writer certainly is no fan of it for the sole reason that it bails out the corrupt politicians and the incompetent police high command by lowering crime temporarily.
This allows them to gloat about lowering crime without coming up with sustainable crime policies.
States of public emergency (SOE’s)are important for maintaining public order under the special circumstances in which the security forces may need additional powers.
This process generally results in a lull in the violence as those displaced by the initiatives acclimate themselves to their new operational bases.
Despite the lies and distractions by the Political Opposition and their surrogates in the Public Defender’s office and the media about the two initiatives, they remain quite popular with the majority of Jamaicans.
I have not done any polling as it relates to people who actually support criminal conduct in our country.
Nevertheless, the fact that the majority of Jamaicans are willing to support initiatives which disrupt and inconveniences their lives gives me hope that there is a silent majority of our people who sincerely want the country we once had.
The political opposition is as heavily invested in old-style politics as the Governing administration.
Neither party wants to disengage from the Garrison-style politics which secures entire constituencies dishonestly, despite the fact that it diminishes our democracy and takes away the franchise of the populace.
Last year, because of the twin initiatives, the country experienced what the police say was a 20% drop in violent crimes.
Conscientious observers, including this writer, cheered, because we believe that regardless of the methods employed, fewer dead people is a net positive.
The downside to the dip in homicides and other violent felonies is that the homicide and violent felony statistics were still too high.
Thus far this year, violent crimes and homicides are ticking upwards. Whether this supposed uptick represents a trend or an anomaly is yet to be decided. We will only be able to tell after the year is over.
If past is prologue we should be very concerned because we have seen these horrendous homicide numbers in the not too distant past.
The disconnect with this uptick and previous ones is the general lack of panic. “Oh, murders are on the rise again, yawn.”That seems to be the general attitude this time around. So what exactly is different this time?
I vividly recall the sense of anger and panic which succeeded the past surges and the calls for the heads of Owen Ellington, Carl Willaims and the very nice and gentile George Quallo?
None of those recent former commissioners of police were policymakers. They were men who became commissioners of police, because they were police officers.
No one bothered to try to understand the dynamics at play in which the police is given
The difference now is that the force is headed by an outsider. Antony Anderson, past head of the (JDF). Past National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister, (a post-tailor-made for Anderson).
Of course, the men and women who came up through the ranks and busted their tails to educate themselves, some more than Holness is, obviously were not qualified enough to advise the Prime Minister on National security, though their entire careers have been spent in the security portfolio.
Which got me thinking. Antony Anderson has gotten a whole lot of deference and goodwill from the public. Many of the elites came out in gleeful support, when he was selected over the men and women of the department to lead their department.
I have no quarrel with the guy, he seems like a decent and likable enough person. But neither of those traits insulates him from critique.
A whole lot of elitist stinkers came out in support of Anderson’s appointment, none of whom had anything good to say about the commissioners of police who were actual police officers.
Those stinkers are silent now, because once again their insistence on social engineering is failing.
It is not the first time that an outsider has been brought in and placed over the men and women of the JCF. We remember the travesty which was Trevor Macmillan and later Hardly Lewin.
My disquiet with the whole thing has nothing to do with any love one would imagine I have for the hierarchy of the JCF. Far from it.
I raise the subject because when there is a cop’s cop at the helm of the JCF, no quarters or latitude is given to them. They are expected to work miracles, they are basically required to spin straw into gold.
Antony Anderson has thus far experienced a charmed existence. No one is calling for his head, despite the unchecked killings and other violent crimes.
Here’s a real bit of fact, in addition to the hypocrisy, if we take away (ZOSO) and the (SOE’s) which have basically propped up Anderson’s tenure, he would inexorably be presiding over a runaway murder rate over and above anything his more recent predecessors experienced during their tenures.
On this issue, I will not allow Jamaica’s snobbish, lying and deceptive elites to rewrite history. We are going to stay vigilant on this and record it for posterity. Neither of the EX-JDF heads who were brought in to usurp the senior people in the JCF has a made a lick of a positive difference worthy of mention.
The excuses about lack of cooperation from the senior leadership and the lack of support from the rank and file were spurious at best.
None of it comes close to the disrespect the JCF gets from the two political gangs which have divided up the country and their well-placed surrogates throughout civil society.
This is a country in deep trouble because the two political parties have the country in a death-grip for their own survival.