Good choice - Former army man appointed top cop; stakeholders approve
Though faced with the tough task of leading the charge to reduce crime and stamp out corruption in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), stakeholders have formed the strong opinion that Major Antony Anderson is a solid pick for police commissioner.
Word came yesterday that the Police Service Commission had chosen the former chief of defence staff of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), and current national security adviser to the Prime Minister Andrew Holness, for the top post.
Anderson will, on March 19, assume the position left vacant by the departure of George Quallo from the JCF earlier this year. He will be the third military man to be elevated to the post of police commissioner, following the footsteps of Colonel Trevor MacMillan, appointed in 1993, and Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin in 2007.
The incoming commissioner faces a number of internal crises while contending with political and public pressure to maintain police presence on the streets. Pointing to the glaring needs of the police force, the Police Service Commission said Anderson is intimately aware of the challenges of the JCF with a clear vision of how it can be transformed to enhance public trust and confidence.
Reacting to news of the appointment, former US Ambassador Luis Moreno tweeted. “Personally, I think it’s a great choice.”
For former Deputy Commissioner of Police Mark Shields, Anderson will have to pull out all the stops and be deliberate in his effort to win back public confidence.
“I think that General Anderson has the right leadership and management skills, having been successful in the post of chief of defence staff,” Shields said. “There will be some resistance that’s inevitable. Whenever an external candidate is appointed, there will be resistance and he knows that,” Shields added.
National Integrity Action Executive Director Trevor Munroe, who serves on the Partnership Council for Prosperity with Anderson, said he had a “positive” impression of the incoming commissioner. Munroe told The Gleaner yesterday that he was optimistic Anderson would further tackle corruption within the ranks of the police force.
“If he is to succeed in cleaning up the force, he needs to, first of all, ensure that he builds a network of the many officers of integrity to isolate the corrupt within the force,” Munroe said.
Howard Mitchell, president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, who has been pushing buttons over crime, says, while Anderson comes with an impressive record, he will have to demonstrate to the private sector a commitment to tear down crime.
Antony Anderson fact file
- Regarded within security circles as being one of the best operationally, with a strong sense of ethics.
- Educated at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United Kingdom, at the Canadian Forces Staff School and the Canadian Land Forces Staff College, at the International Officer Studies Division of the United States Army Command and General Staff College and at the Harvard Kennedy School of Management, Cambridge, in the United States.
- Chairman of the Firearm Licensing Authority.
- Instrumental in modernising physical infrastructure, acquiring major equipment and developing personnel to create a more flexible capability driven Force.
- Responsible for implementing integrated technologies to enhance command and control situational awareness within the JDF, allowing for more agile responses to evolving security risks.