Tue | Jun 6, 2023

Slain cops hailed during Police Week

Published:Wednesday | November 23, 2022 | 12:12 AMAinsworth Morris/Staff Reporter

The six Jamaican police personnel killed in the last 12 months were on Sunday remembered for their stalwart contribution to nation-building during the celebration of the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF) 155th anniversary.

Two were killed in the line of duty and four while off duty.

At the annual commemmorative service in recognition of Police Week, which was held at Eastwood Park Road New Testament Church of God in St Andrew, Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson first made special reference to Corporal Oliver Mullings, who was killed in Trench Town on October 20.

He then briefly mentioned Detective Sergeant Victor Francis of the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse (CISOCA).

Francis was reportedly stabbed when he attempted to part a fight between relatives in Portmore, St Catherine.

Overall, 30 fallen cops, 25 males and five females, were recognised for their bravery and service.

The other 24 late cops’ lives were lost through natural causes.

The service also marked the beginning of Police Week 2022, which is being celebrated under the theme ‘Relentless Pursuit of Excellence’.

Highlights of the week included a luncheon in honour of the children of fallen officers on Tuesday, which Anderson said was of high importance.

“We have a number of things that we do to honour those who they leave behind, whether it is their children or their other loved ones,” Anderson said.

“That connection between them and the JCF does not disappear on their death, but continues afterwards.”

There will also be a staple event of Police Week: the Long Service and Good Conduct Awards Ceremony, which takes place at the Police Officers’ Club in St Andrew on Thursday, November 24.

The church service also addressed the mental and spiritual health of the police.

“Our chaplaincy has delivered, and continues to deliver, in tremendous ways in our force and that is reflected in the actual mental and spiritual health of our members. We have done some work to look at how we are doing in this regard, with respect to many other police forces around the world. We are way, way ahead in that regard, and a lot of that has to do with the services that our chaplaincy provides,” Anderson said.

Anderson also said he has witnessed a shift in the connection between the society and the JCF.

“I’ve seen our national leadership, our international partners, our private sector, and wider members of the public recognise that the JCF is in fact the strong fence that has been protecting our people and our communities all these years,” he said.

During his address, Anderson also called for the young members of the JCF to have excellence as their watchword.

“We look to you, and we expect for you a different environment going forward, and that’s why we’re so committed to the change we want to see in the country,” Anderson said.

“You’re at the very beginning of your careers, and you live in exciting times; and many of the things that we struggled with, you will do with ease,” he said.

He said the country’s expectations of these new recruits are high, so too are the expectations of their communities and families.

Three other church services of the same nature were held across the island on Sunday.

Police Week will also used to share information on the work and achievements of the JCF in the last 12 months and forge better relations with stakeholders of the JCF.