Police Commanders Must Work On Lowering Response Time.….

Let’s estab­lish some facts in this Machiavellian process of select­ing a Commissioner of police present­ly before the Police Services Commission (PSC).
(1) If the Prime Minister and or the Minister of National Security tells you they do not know who will be next Commissioner of police they are lying to you.
(2) The Prime Minister knows who he wants to hold that office regard­less of who applies. If you believe that a Commissioner of Police is ever going to be select­ed by the (PSC) and foist­ed onto the Prime Minister I have a bridge to sell you, in fact, I’ll throw in the flat bridge free of charge in the deal.

Furthermore, even if the Prime Minister and or the Minister of National Security did not have advanced knowl­edge of who would be select­ed, is there a sin­gle per­son alive who believes that the PM would not sim­ply pick up the phone to speak to the head of the PSC to make his views known?
These obser­va­tions are not meant to crit­i­cize the PM for want­i­ng whom he wants to be com­mis­sion­er of police. Unlike many peo­ple, I believe that the Nation’s Prime Minister’s num­ber one job is to keep the nation safe.

On that basis and that basis alone the Prime Minister, [regard­less of par­ty,] ought to have a free hand in select­ing the best per­son in his/​her esti­ma­tion to exe­cute what­ev­er strate­gies he/​she has for com­plet­ing that man­date.
I have no quar­rel with a Commissioner of [police com­ing onboard with polit­i­cal con­nec­tions, polit­i­cal con­nec­tions and labels have not hin­dered them from doing their jobs effec­tive­ly in oth­er coun­tries, it should­n’t negate their poten­tial in Jamaica.


The idea that a Commissioner of Police will make much of a dif­fer­ence in Jamaica’s tox­ic envi­ron­ment is the epit­o­me of naïveté ^. It’s the equiv­a­lence of send­ing a poor­ly equipped, untrained army to do bat­tle with their hands tied behind their backs but nonethe­less led by a new­ly mint­ed General.
To foist some­one onto the police who has not come up through the ranks and have their trust and respect in my esti­ma­tion is a clear sign that there is no intent to begin­ning the ardu­ous task of rolling back vio­lent crime.

If any­one believes that morale is an insignif­i­cant char­ac­ter­is­tic in bod­ies in which cohe­sion and stick-to-itive­ness are required they are wrong.
Believing that it can be dis­re­gard­ed in mil­i­tary and police forces is bor­der­ing on luna­cy.
There are two Prime Ministers who have led Jamaica who will be on my shit list for­ev­er. The two are Percival James Patterson of the PNP and Orett Bruce Golding of the JLP.
The unmit­i­gat­ed truth in this blame game which has land­ed on the doorsteps of the police is that the depart­ment was nev­er giv­en the tools to suc­ceed.
Success for the JCF would have meant no illic­it wealth for the Island’s polit­i­cal class after they were hand­ed the reins of the coun­try.
The cor­rup­tion in Jamaica has rel­a­tives in Africa, Central and South America and oth­er col­o­nized parts of the world. The new boss­es were not about to embark on a process of law and order, they had to enrich them­selves.

Neither men are sole­ly respon­si­ble for crime in our coun­try per se, but Patterson presided over the most dra­mat­ic peri­od of rot in our cul­ture which result­ed in the great­est growth in law­less­ness and vio­lent crimes and the destruc­tion of the JCF.
Bruce Golding watched it hap­pen and when he took office he did not have a plan to fix it, in fact, he took actions which had the oppo­site effect of fix­ing the prob­lems, a‑la INDECOM et al, his tenure was par­tic­u­lar­ly harm­ful to the rule of law. Jamaica was well served when he was forced to step aside.

The chal­lenges fac­ing the Constabulary will cer­tain­ly not be reme­died by chang­ing the Commissioner, that’s like putting a shiny new cov­er on a leaky old pot.
The struc­tur­al defi­cien­cies which the police depart­ment faces are inher­ent­ly dif­fer­ent than a teacher not hav­ing the req­ui­site num­ber of text­books to effec­tive­ly teach a class.
Cops can­not answer calls if they have no cars.

One of the key ways in which I thought the police could improve its ser­vice deliv­ery over the years has been in response time. People are con­soled immense­ly when they have an idea that when they call the police the police is going to be there in quick time.
As a cit­i­zen, there can be no greater fear than to be in trou­ble with no recourse or expec­ta­tion of help com­ing from the police.

Over the years I have called for seniors to dri­ve their own cars and leave the vehi­cles at the sta­tion to ser­vice the needs of the cit­i­zens they serve.
I can tell you that as mem­bers of the CIB sta­tioned at the Constant Spring Police Station Dadrick Henry and myself made it our duty to try to be at the scene as soon as was human­ly pos­si­ble after receiv­ing direc­tives from police con­trol.

As con­se­quence, cit­i­zens knew when Dadrick Henry and I were work­ing because of our ded­i­ca­tion to answer­ing calls as quick­ly as pos­si­ble.
That area of police ser­vice deliv­ery is only one com­po­nent but it is a crit­i­cal com­po­nent in the reas­sur­ance of the peo­ple who depend on the police for their safe­ty and secu­ri­ty.
It must be under­stood that when cit­i­zens can­not depend on the police to come to their res­cue, to their defense, come to their aid, they are forced to acqui­esce to the demands of the crim­i­nal under­world.

What we have seen over the last three decades in our coun­try has been a par­a­digm shift in the loy­al­ty of the pop­u­lace from the police to the gangs and Dons.
The rea­son for this is that this uni­verse does not like vac­u­ums if the police are unable to fill the secu­ri­ty needs of the pop­u­la­tion they have to make friends with those they would not nor­mal­ly be friend­ly to. It is a mat­ter of sur­vival in many cas­es.
I sug­gest that the next Commissioner of police look at response time as his/​her first pri­or­i­ty, this will go a long way in bring­ing some reas­sur­ance to a skep­ti­cal pop­u­lace and would be an impor­tant deter­rent to those who break our laws.