The New Police Commissioner Speaks (God Help Us)

My first comment on hearing the live announcement of our new police commissioner was a question as to why we did not select a career law enforcement candidate.  Obviously, when I say ‘we’ I mean the unfathomable troupe of politicians that are tasked with making such decisions.

It somehow makes sense to get a cop to lead cops.  Its not an absolute prerequisite, but come on, there is an undeniable logic there.

The pimp-suited, shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later, six shooter toting, military titled, fedora wearing, stomach-in-chest-outed former commissioner was fired for making an administrative blunder.  I say blunder in kindness; the jury is out as to how much of a blunder and how much of an intentional ‘contracts for friends’ act it was.  Sadly, the inevitable knee-jerk reaction to the incident was the appointment of a commissioner with a CV most recently full of administrative oversight experience.  Fortunately for the outgoing commissioner he apparently has “a lot to offer” and will continue in a leadership role in the country.

OK, not the end of the world, the commissioner is not a hands on crime fighter.  It is a largely oversight and leadership role.  The fact that the average policeman would probably see a leader from within their ranks (what statement does it make to them that is no member of the force suitably qualified or experienced) is, for now, moot.  What we have is a commissioner who the President deems worthy of the position.

This should be enough said, case closed and welcome to one of the least pleasant jobs in the country.  However, the following is being reported this evening:

“Asked how she felt about a police union saying it was an insult that a civilian was appointed as a police commissioner, Phiyega said she was not qualified to deal with that.”  Something of a cop out right there when she could have established her leadership credentials.  Not a great reaction.  Who, I wonder, is qualified to deal with the trade union if not the head of the police?

“When queried about her lack of experience, Phiyega said: “I’ve never been a police [officer], but I want to say that you don’t need to be a drunkard to own a bottle store.””

Tell me she didn’t say that.  Please, God, no.  Seriously?  Bottle store owners are drunkards?  It’s a prerequisite? 

OK, you get the benefit of the doubt, let’s follow the logic through Madame Commissioner.  A good pharmacist is prescription drug dependant?  I’ll stop there, thinking about it makes my head hurt.

My problem with the statement is not necessarily the absolutely illogical, moronic surface of it.  Like much of what world leaders say, and ours lead from the front, it shows an utter contempt at any move to question their entitledness.  This pseudo intellectual logic is so endemic in our leaders that I despair at where it will lead us.

Commissioner Phiyega you have a lot to do to convince me that you have an IQ higher than that of a common bottle store owning drunkard.

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