Give The Referees A Whistle So They Can Be Relevant On Filed/​Stop Tearing Down Them Down.…

One of the characteristics of growth and development is the ability to recognize one’s mistakes, admit them and move to correct them.
I am willing, in light of the foregone to say, I made a mistake in arguing for the elevation of Mister Keith Gardner to be elevated to the rank of Commissioner of Police to fill the vacancy which exists at the moment.

Mister Gardner clear­ly saw the arti­cle and he wrote a lengthy response detail­ing why he did not want to be con­sid­ered. He list­ed fail­ing health among the rea­sons why he no longer desires being con­sid­ered for the Job. I applaud the gen­tle­man for his can­dor and accep­tance of his own frail­ties.
I sup­port­ed Mister Gardner’s ele­va­tion on the basis of two (2) char­ac­ter­is­tics.

Former Assistant Commissioner of Police Keith Trinity Gardner

(1) Mister Gardner was a cop who under­stood the urban ghet­tos and how to tra­verse them, he had put in an immense body of work into street polic­ing which inher­ent­ly qual­i­fies him to under­stand the nuances and minu­tia of what local law enforce­ment offi­cers face par­tic­u­lar­ly at a time when the streets are flood­ed with dan­ger­ous high pow­ered weapons and more than enough crim­i­nals with the desire to use them for evil.
(1a) Mister Gardner had been shot, I believe on five sep­a­rate occa­sions, as he sought to uphold the nation’s laws. I believed that mis­ter Gardner would have an inti­mate under­stand­ing of the chal­lenges oth­er offi­cers face in try­ing to enforce the laws and as such would be inti­mate­ly involved in try­ing to secure fund­ing for mate­r­i­al pro­tec­tive accou­ter­ments and train­ing for the men and women of the depart­ment.

(2) Keith Gardner ful­fills what Jamaicans clam­or for, some­one with advanced degrees to head the depart­ment.
At the moment Keth (Trinity) Gardner is work­ing on his Ph.D. and is a mem­ber of the Bar on the Island.
Given the mix of expe­ri­ence and aca­d­e­m­ic train­ing, I con­clud­ed that mis­ter Gardner would be a fit can­di­date to hold the office of the com­mis­sion­er of Police at a time when the nation needs a leader who can trans­form the depart­ment into a mod­ern police depart­ment while simul­ta­ne­ous­ly hav­ing an under­stand­ing of the chal­lenges unique to Jamaican polic­ing.
It is now clear to me that my sum­ma­tion of mis­ter Gardner’s tal­ents did not take into con­sid­er­a­tion his asso­ci­a­tions with the UWI and how his hav­ing rubbed shoul­ders with the nations caste elites may have informed his trans­for­ma­tion.
In my desire to see the right per­son appoint­ed to the job I chose Mister Gardiner rather than a per­son with mis­ter Gardner’s bona fides and for that I apol­o­gize.
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Corral Gardens débâ­cle where police went to do their jobs, were set upon, offi­cers were killed, the Government apol­o­gized to the Rastafarian com­mu­ni­ty.

In an Article titled JCF Needs Shock Treatment writ­ten for the (Jamaica Gleaner) and pub­lished Sunday, February 11th, mis­ter Gardner artic­u­lat­ed a num­ber of points includ­ing praise for one par­tic­u­lar Assistant Commissioner of Police whom he argued had recent­ly earned a Ph.D.
Mister Gardner who is him­self work­ing on his Ph.D. at the University of the West Indies and has earned a law degree at the same Institution has capit­u­lat­ed to the notion that the panacea for suc­cess is a Ph.D.
That think­ing dis­miss­es or ignores the tenure of for­mer com­mis­sion­er Carl Williams whom many with­in the soci­ety argued would be the end all be all for solv­ing our nations crime prob­lem.

I have writ­ten con­sis­tent­ly that edu­ca­tion is the best way to pull our­selves from pover­ty and depri­va­tion.
Education in a par­tic­u­lar dis­ci­pline or two, how­ev­er, does not nec­es­sar­i­ly guar­an­tee that one will have suc­cess in a par­tic­u­lar area like polic­ing which requires some basic under­stand­ings.
Modern polic­ing does require edu­ca­tion. Leading mod­ern police depart­ments going for­ward will require a wealth of under­stand­ing of emerg­ing threats and com­plex­i­ties.
William Bratton, for­mer NYPD Commissioner is prob­a­bly one of the most suc­cess­ful ever to lead a large depart­ment, the world’s largest to be pre­cise and he nev­er earned a Ph.D., he nev­er earned a Bachelor’s degree, he earned his edu­ca­tion in Policing.
We do need to con­sult with Ph.D.‘s as we seek solu­tions on issues, we need police offi­cers to do polic­ing.
Mister Gardner’s asso­ci­a­tions with the elit­ist UWI have col­ored his vision and as such he has reduced his stature to just anoth­er elit­ist who has drunk the cool-aid and joined the club.

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I fun­da­men­tal­ly believe that the Police in Jamaica was nev­er giv­en a chance to do a good job if we want to be hon­est.
We may begin at the gen­e­sis of the depart­ment, how it was formed why it was formed, how it was viewed by the peo­ple it was sup­posed to serve even as the nation moved from British to self-rule.

I am sure that edu­cat­ed Jamaicans, (mis­ter Gardner includ­ed) under­stand all too well that ani­mus against law enforce­ment has always been a part of the Jamaican land­scape from before his or my time. ( see https: //www.jcf.gov.jm/about-us/history) .
It’s must be not­ed as well that the his­to­ry behind that ani­mus lies far deep­er and is far more com­plex than a sim­plis­tic ref­er­ence to the over­all prob­lems attrib­uted to the depart­ment today.

(Image) depict­ing the Morant Bay rebel­lion on the 11th October 1865, which pre­ced­ed the for­ma­tion of the JCF

Any review and or crit­i­cisms of the depart­ment must be jux­ta­posed with the facts of its ori­gin and not just the easy lure which is the histri­on­ics desired in seek­ing to make a point.
The Force does need to change, no one could cred­i­bly deny it, yet in the urgent moment of now, the moment when final­ly the pow­ers are see­ing up close and per­son­al the fruits of their labor, the dis­ad­van­taged police can­not be the fall guy.

In an arti­cle I wrote weeks ago I spoke to the tran­si­tion peri­od when stew­ard­ship of the coun­try was hand­ed over to the locals. I point­ed to the cours­es of actions tak­en by the two polit­i­cal par­ties in balka­niz­ing the Island into two polit­i­cal camps which inex­orably placed the police between them as a ref­er­ee with­out a whis­tle.
Despite not giv­ing the ref­er­ees a whis­tle the two play­ers expects the game to be called tight­ly and right­ly. When a call is blown, or bet­ter yet, a call is made against one par­ty, that par­ty lines up with the bois­ter­ous hooli­gans in jeer­ing the ill-equipped ref­er­ee.

With 1616 Jamaicans los­ing their lives last year and the Government now hav­ing to face up to its respon­si­bil­i­ties on crime, there is an attempt at mal-attri­bu­tion.
Naturally, the Government and the Opposition, are quite com­fort­able with using their sur­ro­gates in Academia (a‑la Anthony Harriott)
and indeed at all lev­els of the food chain to dam­age the JCF in a way they do not want to aggres­sive­ly do it them­selves, con­sid­er­ing the pow­er of the JCF as a vot­ing block.

Whatever ails the JCF is not insur­mount­able, those ail­ments did not occur overnight, they were enhanced by both polit­i­cal par­ties.
For any polit­i­cal leader or their acolytes to advance a the­o­ry that Government over the decades has not been instru­men­tal in the state of affairs today is disin­gen­u­ous. It ren­ders them unwor­thy of seri­ous con­sid­er­a­tion as cred­i­ble stake­hold­er in the debate.

The Security forces went into Tivoli Gardens to annex it to Jamaica, Government apol­o­gizes to crim­i­nals and their sup­port­ers demo­nized the police and soldiers,.The pat­tern is clear.

Every year almost 600 offi­cers leave the JCF on their own voli­tion, out­side retire­ment.
That alone is proof that young men and women are uncom­fort­able with what they see. To sug­gest that these struc­tur­al defi­cien­cies are some­how the fault of the men and women of the force is at its heart ill-informed.
Police offi­cers who leave the JCF and join oth­er depart­ments even with­in the CARICOM region are doing just fine.

Keith Gardner argues.….… The major­i­ty of hon­est police per­son­nel at all ranks can­not afford to live in denial. Any writer on police cor­rup­tion will tell you that the first step to address­ing police cor­rup­tion is the admis­sion that it exists. The next step is to devise plans on how to erad­i­cate cor­rup­tion at every lev­el.

The JCF, unlike any oth­er police depart­ment, has a pha­lanx of over­sight agen­cies, (six to be exact) , addi­tion­al­ly, there is a long line of oppor­tunis­tic preda­tors parad­ing as human rights advo­cates who enhance the con­tin­u­ous drum­beat about how bad the police depart­ment is.
Mister Gardner and oth­er recent con­verts to the hifa­lutin UWI con­cept of polic­ing should try offer­ing a word of encour­age­ment and use their time to advo­cate for bet­ter pay and work­ing con­di­tions for the men and women of the depart­ment and yes demand that the ref­er­ees get a damn whis­tle so that they can con­tin­ue to be impact­ful on the field of play.

It is about time that those who would com­ment on our coun­try’s state of affairs stop drink­ing the cool-aid out of the UWI and at least do some research or bet­ter yet not ignore the fac­tu­al data of our coun­try’s sor­did polit­i­cal past.