Nerves of steel - Anderson says steady hands required for top cop job
Major General Antony Anderson has listed the ability to keep calm and focused as two essential qualities that have helped him to execute his job as the country's commissioner of police.
Anderson, who was appointed chief constable of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in March, 2018, said that as a leader one has to "step in and create certainty when there is uncertainty". The commissioner, who has also served as head of the Jamaica Defence Force, told THE STAR that a critical aspect of handling the portfolio is having the ability to "clear the noise and [to] focus on what is important ... and respond accordingly".
"When people's emotions are up, you have to be steady, you have to calm people down. You have to draw a low gear and climb the hill and make sure everything goes as they should under the most difficult of circumstances," Anderson said.
Jamaica last year recorded 1,498 murders, which is a two per cent increase when compared with the 1,474 committed in 2021. Last January, Mark Golding, president of the People's National Party, called for Anderson to resign if he didn't get crime under control within the next 60 days. At the time Jamaica had amassed more than 100 murders in 23 days.
"If the commissioner cannot find another strategic approach to getting the crime problem under control within the next 60 days, I think he must call it a day as well, and allow someone else to take up the mantle," Golding said during a press conference.
Yesterday, Anderson told fellow cops who gathered on the lawn of the police commissioner's office in St Andrew for the force's annual devotional exercise that "it is going to be a good year" for policing in Jamaica. He urged the men and women under his command to adopt a similarly positive approach.
"At the beginning of the year, at the change from one year into the other, as fireworks go up, we have this sense of optimism about what the new year can bring. It is important that we hold this sense of optimism as we go through the year, because quite often as the fireworks die the optimism dies with it. I suggest to you this morning that that is actually a choice that we make," Anderson said.
Anderson maintained that the "force is in a good place and only getting better" as he encouraged his officers to continue to work hard.