Wed | Apr 1, 2020

Anthony, the friendly cop - Police constable brightens the day of many in Half-Way Tree

Published:Monday | April 30, 2018 | 12:00 AMJodi-Ann Gilpin/Gleaner Writer
Taylor shares a light moment with a passing cyclist.
Constable Anthony Taylor directing traffic with a smile in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew.

More than a decade after he was abused by members of a police team, Anthony Taylor is trying his hardest to help change the image of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), and he is doing it from the inside.

Having joined the JCF three years ago, Taylor, now a constable, is providing a spark in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew.

His smiles, frequent handshakes and pleasant greetings brighten the morning for motorists and pedestrians in the heavily trafficked area near the transport centre.

"He is friendly, full o' manners and he knows how to deal with people. Him a good police," said Kemar Bennett, a vendor who operates close by the transport centre where Taylor is stationed.

"Mi respect him a lot. You have to give him 'props' (commendation). Di drivers dem appreciate him a lot because him show respect, so dem respect him," declared Junior Charles.

Taylor told The Gleaner that his ordeal with the members of the JCF who abused him has caused him to take a different approach when carrying out his duties. He said respect is always at the forefront of his mind.

"I might not be around to see the change, but I want to be a part of effecting the change," said Taylor.

"My incident happened in Spanish Town. I was stopped and pulled over. I was going to UTech (University of Technology) at the time. What they said to me was that the car I was driving fit the description of a message that was issued over the radio, and before you know it, a gun was at my head for nothing at all.

"It was a good thing that my UTech and work ID were in the car. I have also seen persons who were abused by the police when I was growing up," he continued.

Now Taylor polices with a mixture of fairness and discipline.

"Whenever a bus or taxi man commits an offence, what I will do is stop you for the first time, talk to you about the offence, give you a chance, maybe you will get another chance, but on the third time of asking, you will be given a ticket. One morning, I issued 17 tickets. You have to be serious, but at the same time, be courteous to everyone.

"This (behaviour) is me off duty and on duty. Respect goes a far way, and that was something that was instilled in me by my grandmother," added Taylor.