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Commissioner, I give you 'F'

Published:Tuesday | July 7, 2015 | 12:00 AM


In my letter dated September 10, 2014, I was hot off the press when I congratulated the commissioner and gave him our collective backing. If, for a second, you can put the glaring and very troubling increase in crime and violence aside, his last two public pronouncements have done him in for me.

The tone he took in rebuking the country, in chastising all of us to stop body-counting, and, amid the soaring murder rate, giving himself a perfect "10 out of 10", both speak to why I made a mistake in thinking he was the right choice.

Even when an 'A' for effort is coupled with an 'F' for results, the cumulative grade is unsatisfactory. In what programme do we teach that outcomes and statistics are to be dismissed? We are compelled to look at data. We need yardsticks. We must benchmark, and body-counting is but one way to measure the progress we make in controlling crime and violence.

It is sad that the commissioner gave himself full marks. Who does that in an environment where there is so much room for improvement? When adults do honest self-assessment, isn't there always something upon which they know they can improve?

I give the Commissioner 'F' for statistics, because he doesn't want us to focus on stark data. I also give the commissioner an 'F' for humility in giving himself an 'A', another 'F' for results, and, without hesitation, I give him 'F' for judgement in so publicly marking his own paper.