‘Trinity’ backs Major General Antony Anderson for Police Commissioner
Major General Antony Anderson
Retired Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Keith ‘Trinity’ Gardner has said he would have no difficulty in backing another army man to head the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
Gardner told Loop News in an interview that retired Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Antony Anderson would be an “excellent choice”. Anderson is currently the National Security Advisor to Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
Gardner’s comments follow confirmation that Police Commissioner George Quallo, who was appointed by the Police Service Commission (PSC) just nine months ago, is to shortly proceed on pre-retirement leave.
Gardner... Anderson a very good candidate for the job
Quallo turns 60 in August and was expected to stay in the position until that time. However, the spiraling murder rate and the embarrassing Palisadoes gridlock debacle on New Year’s Day, as well as the political directorate's lack of confidence in him, have all but combined to seal his fate.
“I think the force is in dire need of reform and as such I wouldn’t be averse to an army man coming in,” Gardner said.
“I like to call names. I see perhaps the former Chief of Defence Staff Anderson being a very good candidate for that job,” Gardner reasoned.
According to him, Anderson is well trained, very rounded and experienced in certain matters. Gardner also holds the view that Anderson is a brilliant person, a man of integrity “and I don’t suppose there would be any objection from any of the ABC countries – America, Britain and Canada.”
Gardner, a fearless crime fighter who gave nearly 40 years service in the JCF, acknowledged that some of his colleagues inside and outside the force may be upset with him for even suggesting Anderson, but, he had a ready response: “Every hardworking, well thinking honest policeman (and woman) in this force would know that the situation is untenable and we can’t continue like this.”
But even while backing Anderson, Gardner was quick to point out that there was no shortage of qualified personnel within the top echelons of the JCF who could take over from Quallo. He said numbered among them is at least 40 attorneys and a host of other qualified persons.
He shared that there was “intense rivalry” among the members of the JCF for academic qualification, with each person “trying to outdo the other.”
But, Gardner argued further that qualification alone was not enough, stressing that whoever succeeds Quallo must demonstrate the ability to “turn the force around.” I think the force is in dire need of reform,” he stated while conceding that that is a policy matter for the Government to address.
If the PSC, which is responsible for selecting the Police Commissioner, should choose from the Jamaica Defence Force or another outsider, it would be the third time this is done following the appointments of the late Colonel Trevor MacMillan and Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin. In the case of Lewin, his appointment in 2007 was initially met with resistance from within the JCF. However, Trinity said he had no problem with Lewin who he worked with briefly before he was seconded to the University of the West Indies.
As for MacMillan, who served between 1993 and 1996 and who also met fierce resistance, Trinity described his appointment as a “game changer.”
Macmillan was famously known for ridding the force of some cops who were deemed to be involved in corruption which Trinity said is a deep seated problem. He also famously put some popular crime fighters back in uniform and confined others to desk jobs, most notably to the so-called ‘never never land’.
According to Gardner, “those hard working policemen, so-called crime fighters, who resisted Macmillan, were put in their places. I had the good sense at the time to lock behind Colonel MacMillian because I saw that his tenure was the result of a policy decision and policy is what the government chooses to do or not to do."