Sun | Jan 29, 2023

Let Biggs’ death not be in vain, urges Rowe

Published:Sunday | July 19, 2020 | 12:36 AMRuddy Mathison - Sunday Gleaner Writer

Corporal Andre Gillespie, a member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force Band, performs a musical tribute during yesterday’s funeral service for Detective Corporal Dane Biggs, who was shot and killed by a gunman during an operation last month. The service w
Corporal Andre Gillespie, a member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force Band, performs a musical tribute during yesterday’s funeral service for Detective Corporal Dane Biggs, who was shot and killed by a gunman during an operation last month. The service was held at the Evangel Temple Deliverance Centre in Portmore, St Catherine.

Jamaica Police Federation Chairman Sergeant Patrae Rowe yesterday used the occasion of the funeral of Corporal Dane Biggs to renew an appeal to the Government to do more to honour cops killed in the line of duty.

Biggs was killed in a June operation to capture a criminal in Horizon Park, St Catherine. Two other cops, Constable Decardo Hylton and Superintendent Leon Clunis, also lost their lives as a result of the operation.

“For too long, the killing of police officers has been met with nonchalance at their funeral, void of the presence of their employers,” Rowe complained yesterday, adding that the Government’s posture at times like this should set the tone for how Jamaicans respond to their deepest struggles at their most vulnerable moments.

“If our colleague died for anything, let it be for the reason that his death provoked the consciousness of Government, let the Parliament and heads of Government know that it cannot be business as usual,” he continued.

ATTACK ON THE STATE

“Let us ensure that an attack on the police is seen as an attack on the State. Legislate punitive sanctions that will announce a painful deterrent to those who believe that an attack on the police is okay.”

Rowe called for a monument at National Heroes Park to honour the memories of officers killed in the line of duty, even as he urged the Government to speed up the payment of benefits to families of slain officers.

“Cut the red tape and bureaucracy in processing benefits to beneficiaries of our fallen, and implement programmes to support grieving spouses and family members,” he demanded.

“For too long, successive governments have used the police as pawns, only to discard us at our most vulnerable,” he charged.

The Jamaica Police Federation chairman described Biggs’s service as noble, saying that his work, worth, and conduct were valuable, pointing out that he reflected the best within the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

“We owe it to him, we owe it to his family. Never forget his service,” Rowe pleaded.

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