There were some really great people in Jamaica when I was a kid, teachers, police officers, and even postal workers. I assume there are still good and capable people in every discipline today as well.
Nevertheless, as a society, we have become too hyped on all things material, things which can be seen.
Even when asking loved ones abroad for something, they have forgotten the simple art of understanding and humility.
So even though they may have no cell phone now, or at best have a [banger]sic, they demand the latest Samsung or Apple device that their loved ones cannot afford, and does not have for themselves.
Not just that the phone or computer they are asking for must be the latest model, it must have the maximum amount of storage and speed possible.
It’s that same hype with which some use education, not to help others but to demonstrate that they are better than their fellow man.
A person who has a Ph.D. is literally deity, he or she is presumed to be able to complete all tasks.
Inexorably this creates a system in which all a person needs to do is to attain a degree and that person becomes qualified for all kinds of jobs for which they have zero training.
We are a country of immensely talented people.
That is indisputable, and we should be eternally proud of our young people who are chewing up the tracks in academics and in every field they are allowed to compete in.
It is the wider society which is failing our young people.
When we adopt the ridiculous notion that a person with an advanced education should be placed in a position for which he has absolutely no experience, we end up with the embarrassing kerfuffle the JCF found itself in, with Dr. Gary Welsh, Assistant Commissioner of Police.
The fact of the matter is that as the entire Island is focused on the perceived missteps of Dr. Welsh, we ignore the fact that Dr. Welsh did not assign himself to the position he was unsuited for.
It is within the remit of the Commissioner of Police to assign his staff as he sees fit.
If however, the commissioner is a misfit, who was given a job in which he was in over his head. And if that job was given to him because of connections, and his bona fides, (albeit for a different discipline).
Then the problem is not of Dr. Welsh’s creation, but the incompetence of the person who assigned him to that position for which he had no training and was therefore woefully ill-suited.
That person is the commissioner of police Major General Antony Anderson. Commissioner of Police.
For my readers who are not Jamaicans, the (Major General rank), the Commissioner of police has, was brought over from the military. It has nothing to do with the job of the commissioner of police.
On a local radio program recently was a police sergeant who supposedly developed an App. The exuberant moderators lauded his work as they should. The officer also revealed in the interview that he has been a sergeant for six years.
After the interview ended, the moderators commented amongst themselves that the officer should be promoted at least to a Deputy Commissioner of police, or else he may be leaving the force soon to find greener pastures.
It is that kind of mindset which has characterized the JCF and has resulted in the top-heavy bureaucracy which exists today. Yet the force is unable to investigate its way out of a brown paper bag, or offer any degree of assurance, even in the traffic department.
If the cop who developed the [application] believes that he can earn more money in the development of applications he would be silly not to take advantage of those opportunities.
Nevertheless, developing an application should not arbitrarily give him a clear path to a DCP rank as touted by the [policing experts] on that radio show.
Policing is a discipline unto itself. It is not a place for people with degrees to go when they cannot find work.
Those who are promoted to positions in the police department because they earned a degree or developed an application should only be so promoted if their higher education directly improves the quality of the service the police offers to the public.
Instead, what we have are people with MBA’s and degrees in cooking and other disciplines, promoted on the basis of the degree they have.
This effectively creates the parking lot which the JCF has become for people with degrees who are offering nothing tangible to the JCF or the country.
This chokes off the pipeline of advancement for career police officers who know their job.
There are still some talented officers at the Gazetted level, who deserve those commands, officers who came up through the ranks the old fashioned way.
Officers who know what they are talking about. However, many of them are languishing at the Deputy and Superintendent ranks, as the Ph.D.‘s and MBA’s occupy the leadership rungs of the JCF, never mind that they have no idea about actual policing, and those over whom they leap-frogged also have earned degrees.
ACP Welsh found himself a square peg in a round hole, promoted way over his head as a police commander.
A Doctorate in anything else does not translate into leadership in policing. This incident should be a wakeup call to the leadership of the country, but unfortunately, it will not.
They will never understand it because from to top to bottom they do not understand the value of the discipline, and as the streets would say(them nu rate police).
The police department will continue to be a place where people with degrees park themselves and earn big salaries for doing nothing.
Promoted way over their heads and given tasks for which they are not equipped.
Mike Beckles is a former Jamaican police Detective corporal, a business owner, avid researcher, and blogger.
He is a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog chatt-a-box.com.
He’s also a contributor to several websites.
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