POLICE Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson has issued a charge to members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to tackle the new year with an opportunity and solutions-oriented mindset towards policing.
Addressing members of the constabulary under the theme, ‘Relentless pursuit of excellence — a force for good’ at the commissioner’s annual devotion held at police headquarters on Old Hope Road on Tuesday, Anderson urged, “If we are a good force and only getting better, and if our personal mantra is our lives are good and only getting better, that becomes the basis of how we move and how we do things every day. It means that where there are problems, what we will be looking for are solutions. Where there are challenges, we see these as opportunities.
“What I’m suggesting and recommending is that all of us, individually and collectively, have the mindset that says, ‘We have solutions, we have opportunities, and we are blessed to be here, to be in the force.’ [Have a mindset] that we have life, health, hope. When we do that we will see the benefits of it…that’s the mindset we have to go into the new year with. I expect fantastic results this year,” he stressed.
The police commissioner said he is confident in the JCF’s plans, noting that while the gains were interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, crime-fighting strategies had bounced back by the end of last year, setting the platform for further gains in 2023.
“There is a new energy with a number of the things that were delayed now [being] in place. Most importantly, we have people who are committed, people who are optimistic, people who are getting a greater understanding of their ability to influence what is around them, and create positive influence in other people’s lives and also in their own lives. When you have that, it doesn’t matter what you lack because you have enough to make a difference professionally and personally. Choose solutions; see opportunities where there are challenges,” he told the men and women of the force.
Anderson’s charge comes against the background of a year that ended with 1498 murders, 24 more than 2021, or a two per cent increase. At the same time there were 1,162 shootings, 101 less than the previous year. St James accounted for the majority of murders, totalling 198, followed by the St Catherine North Police Division with 145 killings.
Addressing a recent press briefing, on the eve of the new year, for the declaration of new states of public emergency across eight parishes, the police commissioner noted that in a year when SOEs had been in place for a total of six weeks, the country had been facing five murders per day in September 2022. He said it was critical to enter 2023 with a downward trend and to sustain that trajectory.