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05/12/2007 | Jamaica- It's not about Hardley Lewin, is it?

Jamaica Observer Staff

Although we are still awaiting the official word from the Governor-General, it is no secret that the Police Service Commission (PSC) has given the nod to Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin as the country's next police commissioner.


Like the rest of the nation, we are relieved that a new commissioner has been named and none too soon, given the brutal attack last week on the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and, by extension, the country of Jamaica.

We are not at this stage commenting on the appropriateness of Police Commissioner Lewin's appointment. The PSC has exercised its discretion, in the best interest of the country we hope, and as a nation, we have a moral obligation to fall behind the appointment and resist any temptation to undermine our new commissioner.

In keeping with this obligation, we, all of us, need to discipline our tongues with a view to ensuring that our words do not end up condemning us.

This is not, we repeat, not to discourage constructive criticism when necessary, as some may be tempted to construe it.
However, there is a tendency on the part of some individuals within and without the force - it's not necessary to call names - to make wild, uncalled-for statements under the guise of acting in the public interest, when the reality is that they are simply serving their own private interests.

Commissioner Lewin, the former Chief of Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), has a mammoth task ahead of him and he can't do it alone. He will need the confidence and co-operation of his team and the rest of the country to break the cycle of crime that has succeeded in robbing us of the joy of living in a warm and beautiful island.

And it would be in the best interest of all of us for groups, like the Police Officers' Association and the Police Federation, to set the tone with a view to ensuring that such co-operation is forthcoming from the rank and file of the force.

Of course, there will be disappointment among those who would have chosen another leader. But at this stage, there is nothing to be gained from clinging to a position which is unlikely to have any productive bearing on what appears to be a done deal.

Rather, it's time for the Jamaica Constabulary Force, under its new leader, to start pitting its efforts towards strategies that will result in the reduction of murder, domestic violence, rape, carnal abuse, gang warfare and all the other threats to law and order which undermine the country's security and health.

For, make no mistake, there are no 'outsiders' where the fight against crime in this country is concerned. Everyone who lives here is an insider, vulnerable to the tragedies that crime and violence have to offer.

What counts now is the expertise and ability that are needed to lead the way to establishing Jamaica as the ideal place to live and work in the future. The PSC has determined that Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin is the man for this task at this juncture.

Let us ensure that their decision is afforded every opportunity to be proven right. In truth, it is less about Hardley Lewin and more about our beloved country which is under seige.

Jamaica Observer (Jamaica)


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