It perhaps is surprising that Fitzroy Tucker, well known as Writey Writey, remains at the rank of constable 12 years after he enlisted in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
But that has not daunted the spirit of the traffic cop, who stands out wherever he is assigned as one of the hardest working and most non-nonsense law enforcers on the island.
“Whether or not they want to give me [promotion], I will still go out there and do what I am supposed to do,” he told The Beacon. “I do it for the love, not for the likes.”
Although promotion remains elusive, Constable Tucker, within the last few weeks, received two major awards for his stellar performance in the treacherous streets.
The St. Catherine North Police Division awarded him for being “the most outstanding performer”, and the management of Linstead Transport Centre subsequently did likewise.
“It feels good and it gives me a sense of appreciation for the hard work I have been doing,” Constable Tucker said.
Though he welcomes awards made publicly, the officer shuns certain private offers.
“Yuh can’t write a motorist ticket and a collect money from him; it nuh work,” he said, laughing. “If yuh think criminality draws you closer to prison, the Jamaica Constabulary Force is the easiest way to go to jail. If I hadn’t taken a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption, I wouldn’t be where I am right now.”
Constable Tucker is serious about law enforcement, and breaches of the Road Traffic Act don’t usually go unpunished.
“I do give bly, but it is like one in every 10,000 cases…” he explained. “When you give persons chances, they take it as an advantage and say ‘Okay tomorrow the sun will shine again’. But when you prosecute a motorist, you will see the difference.”
A scenario he shared revealed that, at one point when he made checks, he already dished out more than 11,000 tickets to motorists, including some transporting big-shot politicians.
The officer, however, is keeping the updated numbers close to his chest.
“That is between me and the government’s revenue department,” he said, chuckling. “But I have written a lot of tickets.”
It is believed that, due to the frequency with which the cop writes traffic tickets, he was given the “Writey Writey” alias.
He said he isn’t sure if the alias is spelt “Writey Writey”, or “Righty Righty” to reflect his tendency to do the right thing and turn down bribes.
However, Constable Tucker is sure that he got the alias from bus operators who ply the route between Half Way Tree and Spanish Town. He got it while he was based at Spanish Town Police Station.
“The John’s Road taxi operators [in Spanish Town] called me Quick Print. The Waterford bus drivers called me Quick Cook. And the Brunswick|Angels taxi drivers called me Wasp because they said mi sting like wasp. But Writey Writey took over from the others,” Constable Tucker said while displaying a good sense of humour.
According to him, he enjoys a good rapport with most motorists – even some of whom he prosecuted.
“Where I am now in policing is not something that came overnight… I can tell any officer that their (residents’) attitude toward you is mostly as a result of how you treat them… If you treat them with respect, majority of the times they will respect you,” he said. “Once you don’t compromise yourself as a police officer, you can do your work easily… Sometimes you have to be rough, but just remain professional and don’t be disrespectful.”
Constable Tucker, a native of St. Thomas, attributed his disposition to his upbringing.
“All the good traits that I have, I give thanks to my mom [who is no longer alive],” said the father of a young son. “I am now a parent and discipline is a must where I am concerned.”
The law enforcer is a graduate of Yallahs Basic School, Yallahs Primary, and Morant Bay High where he excelled mainly in Typewriting.
He also attended the Institute of Higher Learning in Kingston.
He did different jobs prior to joining the JCF. He worked at a fast food restaurant, with the Electoral Office of Jamaica, and as a security guard.
“I left the security work and came straight into the police force,” Constable Tucker said, noting that policing was not his childhood dream.
“I think somewhere along the line it was my destiny because it is what I am now,” he added. “I tried the army [before the police force]. For some reason, I was supposed to go in [to train] and something happened. I tried [the army] again and it was just being delayed. A situation reached me and I decided to try the police force and I got through. I went through training and performed well throughout it.”
Constable Tucker became a member of the JCF on November 11, 2009.
Since then, he has been serving the St. Catherine North Division, first at Spanish Town and later at Linstead.
“I wasn’t happy with the transfer [to Linstead] but somebody said to me that wherever a star goes he will shine. I came to Linstead with a positive mindset,” he told The Beacon.
Constable Tucker added: “I think the Linstead community, If I should leave, needs somebody that is better than I am or is as good as I am. It is chaos when a good officer is not there. I am not saying that I am the best. There are other officers out there that are doing the work. They may not get the respect that I get from the general public, but, trust mi, there are other officers who are working.”
Constable Tucker was not always a traffic cop. He initially did mainly general duties and radio car patrol.
“Whoever made that decision [for me to become a traffic cop] made a good decision,” he told The Beacon, adding that he was a motorcyclist before he joined the JCF.
While noting that the JCF offers its members many opportunities to excel, Constable Tucker advised aspiring cops to steer clear of policing if their intentions are not good.
“If it is not something you love, don’t come. Just like any other job, it has its challenges… If you come here with the intention to do what is wrong, you will end up on the other side of the law,” he added. “I love my job… If I should become a lottery winner tomorrow, I would still be serving my country. I would still be serving because of the love I have for the work. It is not always a bed of roses, but you have to have motivation to do it.”
By Horace Mills, Managing Editor
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