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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Commentary: Jack Johnson's leadership

Re: Fwd: Deadly Blame Game

I have long been a fan of the leadership shown by Harry Truman.

How does Jack Johnson compare to Pres. Truman?

There was a sign on Truman's desk--you can see it in his library--that said
"The Buck Stops Here."

Truman took responsbility for what he did. He did not blame others.

But Jack Johnson completely avoids accepting responsibility--he blames everyone else he can find. The inability to control crime is not Jack's fault. No, it must be his subordinates in the police department--their failures are a plot to make him look bad, not a sign of his inability to manage his staff. Or maybe it's those evil developers and apartment owners. But never Jack; he's just a victime of all these others conspiring against him.

Truman also said: "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." He showed a remarkable ability to stand the heat.

Jack Johnson, on the other hand, has demonstrated that he can't stand the heat. Obviously it is time for him to get out of the kitchen. Now! Before things get even worse.

At 05:26 PM 8/3/2005, Jacob Andoh wrote:
Mr. Turner, thanks for sharing this newspaper item.

I am not surprised, at all.

Ok, honestly, quite frankly, I am a bit surprised. I expected better (of some of our leaders in this scenario, who I have come to admire, at least, for some stellar accomplishments and up-to-fairly-recently, can-do leadership orientation).


This is sad. We have reports here of talk and more talk (some would say, double-talk), rampant verbal joustings among some of our top officials, as homicides soar in our County and many die, bleeding, in the streets.

Yes, a deadly blame game indeed.

The following is not a criticism as much as it is a critique - of what this ("the blame game") appears to be, to some of us.

Even if it is factually correct that some of our Police Officers are slackers - and maybe some of them really are - from a management and team-building perspective, there are proven ways to deal forcefully with such a non-performance issue. It is mostly done BEHIND closed doors while following written County and departmental policies, procedures and performance contracts, and NOT in the blinding lights of TV cameras and the frenzy of mass media reporting and photo-ops).

It makes it all appear to be a terrible case of official grand-standing while the crime surge continues to be a problem (even if a declining one).

Who would one rather offend in times as these - the criminals and "thugs" or the officers who are sworn to protect us and our communities?

In fact, in times of public safety and security crises, the thing to do is probably come out in full support of the officers and heroes, who on a daily basis, put their lives on the line for us, our families and communities, and law-abiding children. A sure way to foster MORE disension is to PLAY THE BLAME GAME, especially IN PUBLIC!

Is that not what some people do when they are bereft of any workable, practical solutions?

Are we, or have we, given up?

Parents and communities: We can stop crime in our communities, by collectively banding together to be the eyes and ears and reporters for our communities.

Observe all and report all crimes, even so-called insignificant ones, to the authorities. use your phones, your computers, your faxes, your pens. let us let the "thugs and gangstas" know that it is either them or us, and we would rather it was not us!

And, do not forget to say a word of "Thanks" to your friendly community Police officer. They are doing their best, i am sure. And, if they are not, in your opinion, report them, too!

Accountability at, and from, ALL LEVELS, of society - you, me, our institutions, our officials, our public safety infrastructure. That is the real game in town. The blame game is not. Officials, we can unite behind you to get this crime challemge under control. But please let us see some unity and NEW solutions and ideas on the table.


Jaob Andoh
Mitchellville, MD

1 comment:

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