The number of reasons given for the hiring of people from outside to lead the police department is myriad. As an avid reader, I have tried to read as many written opinions as I possibly can even when I am nauseously opposed to the way some are framed.
A common thread which seems to run through all of the opinions seem to be what each individual or entity believes is in their best interest.
For example, the President of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica Howard Mitchell says “while Anderson comes with an impressive record, he will have to demonstrate to the private sector a commitment to tear down crime.”
Oh for ensuring that nothing stops their money.
The Tourism Industry and others are no different and frankly, there is nothing wrong with the idea of people looking out for their self-interest. Wouldn’t we have a better country though, if all of the interest groups saw their security concerns linked to the larger framework of the need for greater National security?
The security of individuals and companies can only be realized within the larger security framework of a secure nation.
It was interesting to hear a former head of the Military and failed interloping commissioner of police Hardly Lewin argue that Major Anthony Anderson will be successful because he has political support.
“It’s clear the political directorate has confidence in Anderson, given his current job as national security adviser”, Lewi said.
Hardly Lewin served in the role of police commissioner between 2007 to 2009 under another Labor Party Administration led at that time by Bruce Golding.
Imagine a former Commissioner of Police insinuating that during his tenure he did not receive support from the political directorate.
Isn’t that what this writer speak to in this medium almost daily? Why did Hardly Lewin not speak about this during and after his service?
Imagine the concept of a Government not supporting its primary law enforcement agency. Now the Government of the very same party and the poorly informed people who cannot think for themselves want to blame the police for the state of affairs today.
Imagine a situation in which the political directorate which comprises both political parties, not supporting the rule of law, then wonder why they always seem to come together when it suits their narrow interest.
The People’s National Party(PNP) came out in support of Anthony Anderson’s elevation to Commissioner of Police much the same way it did for the formation of INDECOM while also in opposition.
Only under immense scrutiny does the two political gangs come together and when they do it usually results in negative consequences for the country.
It was the People’s National Party (PNP) which first embarked on the fool’s folly of bringing an ex-army head, Col. T.N.N. MacMillan, to serve as Commissioner of police from 1993 to 1996. That period was a disastrous period of discord, disengagement, and disillusionment for law enforcement, the rule of law and arguably the period in which Jamaica lost the war against criminals.
The notion that a person who studied warfare at Sandhurst or wherever, rises through the ranks in a 3000 or so man defense force which cannot even defend “Duppy gate” is qualified to lead a 12’000 man police force is remarkably inane.
Throw in the disillusionment factor which is bound to resurface within the gazetted corps and we have a kinetic mix which can only result in failure.
Now I never grieve for the Police high command, God knows for decades the high command of the JCF has allowed itself to become the lap-dog of the political class.
As a result, the high command has lost the respect of its junior officers resulting in massive attrition from the force while gaining nothing from it slavish obedience to politicians.
With the exception of a few senior officers if it was up to me I would certainly have sent the whole lot of the senior staff home an act which would result in tremendous savings for the Jamaican taxpayers.
The high command gambled away the luster, shine, dignity, and prominence befitting senior police commanders and lost. Not only have those senior officers gambled away their respect they gambled away chips which were not theirs to play with.
The lure of reaching the zenith of their chosen profession has informed the aspirations of poor young men and women who decided to risk their lives as police officers for decades.
Sure the pay is bad, the work is dangerous, the working conditions are substandard but the idea that hard work, discipline, and education can result in elevation to the highest office has been a successful aspirational tool for decades.
Like a carrot in front of a heavily laden Horse, officers toil when others sleep, run to the bullets when others cower, and give up their holidays while others revel.
Now only to realize that though they have done everything they have been asked to do there is actually a glass ceiling which keeps them away from the prize.
The ignoramuses who make policy fiddle with this at their own peril.
As my friend said yesterday any person who wants to be Commissioner of Police let him join as a constable and do the hard work, let him do police work.
Regardless of who those are who are offering congratulations to Anthony Anderson and the conniving cadre of complicity which foisted him on the police here is an important fact. Nowhere in the world are soldiers given command of police departments.
One of the arguments proffered by the elitist class for decades is that the Constabulary is brutal, and as such, incapable of performing as a modern police department. The JCF was formed as a response to the Morant Bay Rebellion of October 11th, 1865.
This most nonsensical of notions when the country still pledges its allegiance to a foreign Monarch, all its systems and functions still bear allegiance to Elizabeth of England who does not give a rats ass about Jamaica.
Yet the very same people are giddy with glee when one of theirs, a former Military leader, (not para-military mind you), is given the reins to the same force they claim is too militaristic.
Which brings us to the sense of hatred Jamaicans seem to have for themselves and the elevation of their own kind. That palpable belief in their sense of inferiority as does the maids, footmen, and Butler of Downton Abbey.
The deficiencies within the law enforcement space over the years certainly cannot be laid at the feet of the police as I have argued over the years.
Surely as someone who saw it from the inside for a decade and decided I could not make a difference from the inside and left as a result, the failings have been political.
Hardly Lewin who sat at the pinnacle now had the courage to speak out and should at least be given credit for acknowledging that the governments have not supported law enforcement.
This writer has spoken to this issue for a long time, it is indeed a shocking revelation to those who would embark on the attribution of crime fighting failures to the police alone.