We should have at least interviewed Rattigan

Thursday, September 04, 2014

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Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to Ryan Russell's letter to the editor, titled 'This is the real Jamaica, not the ideal Jamaica'.

While I am in agreement that Wilfred Rattigan comes with experience, qualifications and possibly a new vision based on his résumé, I am not necessarily of the view that he would be very effective as a commissioner of police.

It is quite possible, given where we are, that Rattigan, or someone like him, is exactly who we need to lead the fight against crime at this time. But given the present culture and traditions of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), I believe that there are many other factors to consider.

Is Rattigan the kind of person who could gain the confidence of the members of the force and have them supporting him in the shortest possible time?

Another question one must also ask is, although Rattigan is Jamaican-born, is he familiar with the culture of the force, the criminals, and the people of this country? A lack of experience in these areas may affect his judgment and ability to do his job.

Is the job of police commissioner simply one of just managing the police force so you give it to anyone who is academically qualified? Or does it require someone who is intimately familiar with the rank and file of the organisation?

It is often said that we cannot continue to do things the same way and expect a different result. The truth is, to get change one must change, but is Wilfred Rattigan the change we need?

It is my view that if Rattigan is academically qualified then, at the very least, he should have been afforded an interview. Yes, question him and hear what he has to say and what he brings to the table. It wouldn't have done any harm. It could only have served as a learning experience.

Let me say, it is my opinion that, if the members of the JCF are not comfortable with the person chosen to lead them, he/she will not be very effective. It would be like giving the person a basket to carry water.

Gary Rowe






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