Newly-sworn police chief of Lauderhill, Florida Andrew Smalling may be able to prove that there are at least two sides to every story.
Only the second Black individual to hold the position, Smalling is now the top brass commanding a force of 140 police officers in the Florida city populated by 70,000 residents.
The Jamaican immigrant reportedly moved to the USA with his parents Albert and Doreen Smalling when he was eight years old.
Prior to that, Smalling lived all his life in Jones Town, a west Kingston community many associate with crime and negative activities to be regarded in Jamaica as one of the garrison areas controlled by individuals who wield authority staving off outsiders and potential threats to residents.
While that aspect of communities such as Tivoli Gardens, Trench Town and Jones Town seems to be much publicized with music and news steering anthems for stereotype, Smallings is an example of the flip side often not regaled.
Eleven years ago, he made history when he became the first Black to be appointed chief of police of Lauderdale Lakes, another Florida city which is located near Fort Lauderdale.
On Sept. 15 a proud community showed up to witness a ceremony where Smalling took the oath of office placing his hand on a Bible he said belongs to his 95-year-old grandmother.
He said in executing his duty he would rely on the greatest protector of them all:
“Each of us must take comfort in knowing there is a higher authority who watches over us, no matter our rank or how high our position.”
“I want to take this opportunity to thank my higher authority, my heavenly father, for ordering my steps to be where I am right now. I pray that he will continue to guide me in my decisions and keep and protect the men and women he has given me charge over.”
Reportedly, the crowds gathered inside the city hall there responded with loud applause.