In response to an interview he gave to the Jamaica Observer Published in the Sunday Observer, I called my friend Dadrick Henry before I wrote a follow up to what was published in that Jamaican paper :http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Four-years-without-earning-a-cent_14763795#ixzz2b7f88rdI.
I wanted to hear from the horses mouth, what exactly was going on, without the filter of Editorial cutting and dicing. I also called his brother, a friend of mine, to learn from him what he knew. Having listened to Dadrick explain what occurred, I was left with the impression that he feels let down by the very people with whom he served at the Constant Spring CIB office, Some of those people are now in senior positions within the JCF. I concluded our conversation feeling that my entreaties over the years to him, to save some of himself for himself went unheeded.
He spoke long, emotionally and nostalgically about what he and I accomplished. I listened as he vented, he spoke at length about individual cases we worked on , from house breaking to recovery of stolen property, recovering guns, to murder cases. My friend seemed stuck in the emotional exploits of our youthful exhuberance. Totally oblivious to the risks we took, unable to reconcile the Constabulary force we served then with the JCF two decades later. Ironically he believes some of the very people who were window dressings at that CIB office of the mid 80’s to the early 1990’s are now some of the people who are twisting the dagger in his back.
Dadrick Henry the crime fighter, was no different than Altamoth (Parra) Campbell the crime fighter, whose house was ransacked by members of the JCF on false information that he was involved with a certain suspect. Dadrick Henry reminisced about the night I was shot yet managed to recover a .357 Magnum bleeding profusely, my shoes filled with blood. He spoke about the Detective Corporal and a member of the Auxiliary, who were with me that night. They ran away, we laughed about that.
That Detective Corporal later rose to the rank Of Senior Superintendent. I saw the new JCF coming two decades ago. Not a JCF which was more informed, better equipped, smarter, more efficient. No, I saw a JCF where it would be each man for himself, where esprit de corps would be a dirty Latin term. Some of the people now in leadership were second rate Police Officers, they were people who were on a mission of self, and they would do anything to get to where they thought they needed to be.
Dadrick Henry and a few others did not receive that memo, they are paying the price. He had his demons but he loved his country, he swore never to live anywhere else but Jamaica, he loved the Force. I wonder whether the force ever loved him. Some of my friends point to a new JCF, they say when this force takes shape it will be better. Others speak of the courtesy of officers today, I always believed officers should be courteous, I was courteous. I believed that officers should be tough, I was tough, the two are not mutually exclusive. The JCF is not getting more courteous as my friends insists, the force is getting less effective, less competent, less worthy of mention. The crime stats speaks volumes.
Until the JCF presents crime statistics which are better than the statistics of the 1980’s, Officers like Dadrick Henry, Parra Campbell, Bigga Ford and others will continue to be larger than life, unfortunately for these men and others like them the JCF rewards lethargy and incompetence not meritorious service. Merely being better able to compile crime data more efficiently, does not a more competent force make.