Ignore The Murder Stats, Anderson’s Performance Is About Other Measurables…

Now that a sim­ple release of the infor­ma­tion has addressed the vex­ing issue of the police com­mis­sion­er’s salary, it begs anoth­er question.
What exact­ly are the rea­sons that these kinds of infor­ma­tion are not avail­able to the pub­lic through cod­i­fied laws?
Other ques­tions include the pow­er giv­en to the Office of the Service Commission (OCS) to decide out­side the peo­ple’s say-so, whether the infor­ma­tion is released to the public.
On its face, it appears that we are not a coun­try of laws but one in which the tax­pay­ers are mere serfs; the lumpen that pro­duces the resources through their hard work, but which gets no say in the decision-making.
The Salaries of the Commissioner of Police, oth­er Senior Officers of the JCF, and oth­er pub­lic ser­vants, should not be a secret. If not for the amount they are paid, (of course, the pub­lic pre­vi­ous­ly had no idea how much), but for account­abil­i­ty and mea­sur­a­bil­i­ty. The secre­cy around those con­tract details and the reluc­tance to release those details to the tax-pay­ing pub­lic were not hall­marks of a demo­c­ra­t­ic society.
Jamaicans have always need­ed to know just how much the nation’s top secu­ri­ty offi­cials are being paid, and cor­rect­ly so. Even when not for­mal­ly edu­cat­ed, the peo­ple are ful­ly edu­cat­ed in their under­stand­ing of the need for account­abil­i­ty on this all-impor­tant issue of nation­al security.
Jamaicans, even the least for­mal­ly edu­cat­ed, under­stand the cost of vio­lent crime, the trau­ma it pro­duces to fam­i­lies and vic­tims who are left behind to pick up the pieces. This is so, even though not every­one may ful­ly appre­ci­ate the eco­nom­ic and soci­etal cost crime impos­es on the nation.
Consequently, the job per­for­mance of the Commissioner of police has always been tied to the crime sta­tis­tics; in fact, every sin­gle Commissioner of Police has been hired and fired sole­ly based on the crime sta­tis­tics. This is not a nov­el con­cept, it is the met­ric used across the board even in devel­oped soci­eties. What else is there?
Since com­mis­sion­er Antony Anderson was hired the nation has been kept in the dark about the terms of his con­tract. This is cer­tain­ly not Anderson’s fault, it goes to a lack of laws and accountability.
But at the end of Anderon’s first con­tract peri­od and the begin­ning of anoth­er, it can­not be that a small bunch of elites alone gets to decide whether Anderson did a good job, or gets to change the met­ric of mea­sure­ment pre­vi­ous­ly used to decide suc­cess and fail­ure, we do not live in a dictatorship.

It is hard­ly the amount that the Commissioner is paid. The $18 mil­lion pay pack­age is hard­ly a block­buster salary, (if the num­ber giv­en is cor­rect); you can nev­er trust what they tell you in Jamaica; it has to be about his performance.
It is the barom­e­ter that all ser­vants of the pub­lic are mea­sured by. Performance is what pri­vate-sec­tor employ­ees are mea­sured by; it is what gov­ern­men­tal admin­is­tra­tions are mea­sured by.
The shock­ing real­i­ty is that we are now being told that Antony Anderson should not be judged by the same stan­dards that oth­ers before him were, but we should not wor­ry about the num­ber of dead bod­ies; we should focus on oth­er things that they in their infi­nite wis­dom decree as per­for­mance indicators.
Local media report­ed that Gordon Shirley, who heads the ser­vice com­mis­sion, says that the com­mis­sion has month­ly meet­ings with the police com­mis­sion­er that deal with the force’s per­for­mance and Anderson’s own role.
Professor Gordon Shirley is a for­mer head of the University of the West Indies UWI). Another so-called secu­ri­ty expert[sic] Professor Anthony Clayton, you guessed it .….. from the UWI chimed in that quote; “The grav­i­ty of the crime prob­lem, linked to issues such as poor par­ent­ing and socio-eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal fac­tors, means com­mis­sion­ers like Anderson face an uphill task and could jus­ti­fy even more pay for the for­mer nation­al secu­ri­ty advisor.”
So true, but what about account­abil­i­ty? No men­tion of the crime sta­tis­tics but a case for even bet­ter pay for Anderson.
Why were the for­mer mem­bers who slaved their entire adult lives in the JCF not giv­en the same def­er­ence and understanding?

According to the Gleaner, Howard Mitchell, who was among the crit­ics of the OSC’s deci­sion to ini­tial­ly block access to the con­tract, and Rear Admiral Lewin sup­port­ed the prin­ci­ple of dis­clo­sure but cau­tioned against reveal­ing the per­for­mance tar­gets. “Targets are going to be a slid­ing thing. You’ve got to appre­ci­ate that cir­cum­stances and con­di­tions change, and those things can have an effect on tar­gets,” Lewin said, adding that he did not recall nego­ti­at­ing his terms of ref­er­ence with the per­ma­nent sec­re­tary dur­ing his tenure. “One has to be real­is­tic and care­ful about tar­gets. I know what peo­ple will imme­di­ate­ly think about is the num­ber of mur­ders and shoot­ings. You don’t want to get into a posi­tion that the first thing you try to do is cre­ate dif­fer­ent squads because you are being pushed. It’s not just a ques­tion of sta­tis­tics,” said the for­mer commissioner.
“It is not a ques­tion of sta­tis­tics”? What is it about? Dead bod­ies do not count?
The sad real­i­ty is that Antony Anderson has friends in high places, some­thing many of the for­mer top cops did not have, even though they may have attend­ed the same putrid pool of intel­lec­tu­al dishonesty.
His friends are now ask­ing the Jamaican peo­ple to ignore the sole met­ric that defines per­for­mance and focus instead on a non-dis­tin­guish­able met­ric defined by them.
The gall of such a the­o­ry is stun­ning in its capri­cious­ness. In a recent report on his tenure, the Gleaner reports that Anderson not­ed mur­der reduc­tions in com­mu­ni­ties where SOEs were declared, the arrest of 167 gang­sters, and a clear-up rate (when the police charge a sus­pect), mov­ing from 39 per­cent in 2019 to 53 per­cent in 2020.
To a for­mer mem­ber like this writer, using the clear-up rate as a per­for­mance mark­er for the com­mis­sion­er is the equiv­a­lence of a drown­ing man clutch­ing at straws. If the clear-up rate is to define any­one’s suc­cess it ought to go to the detec­tives and oth­er offi­cers who remove vio­lent crim­i­nals from the streets, not the CP.
The truth is that using the stats from areas where SOEs were declared is decep­tive and dis­hon­est. Crime does go down in areas in which SOEs are declared, but they spike in oth­er areas as crime pro­duc­ers move to oth­er turfs.
Never before has a police com­mis­sion­er been judged because crime went down in a sin­gle area. The Police com­mis­sion­er is head of secu­ri­ty for the entire coun­try, not for areas in which SOEs are declared.
This attempt to dis­tort the nar­ra­tive on Anderson’s behalf is almost laugh­able in its weakness.
Absent from these dis­cus­sions are the views of the career offi­cers who have come up through the ranks, past and present.
We now have a police force that is ful­ly con­trolled by the views of left­ist elites from the University of the West Indies.
Success is what they say it is; ignore the dead bodies.

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Mike Beckles is a for­mer Police Detective, busi­ness­man, free­lance writer, black achiev­er hon­oree, and cre­ator of the blog mike​beck​les​.com. 

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