Undaunted - JCF vows to hunt down cop killers
It was a serene Friday morning at the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) headquarters on Old Hope Road, Kingston, as law enforcers held back their emotions at the monthly prayer meeting, where they also paid homage to their colleagues, slain, injured, or battling for life.
The police personnel, who put on a brave face, were reminded by Pastor of the Pentecostal Gospel Temple Robert Stewart to cherish and value every moment of their lives and spend time with their family and loved ones.
"Make every minute count," he said.
It was also a moment of introspection and reflection at the Police Emergency Communication Centre-organised devotion, which is held on the last Friday of each month to remind officers of their vulnerability in the line of duty.
"We need people to understand that fighting crime is a collective responsibility," said Corporal Arlene McBean, director of research and documentation at the Police Federation.
McBean said that there is an urgent need to address the void that exists between the police force and the members of the public. "Fighting crime is everyone's business, and at this point, we are lacking consistent partnership," she said, calling upon stakeholders to come to the table and lay down plans for sustainable solutions.
She also took the opportunity to express gratitude to the members of public and JCF who donated blood for Woman Corporal Judith Williams, who died yesterday morning.
MESSAGE TO HER KILLERS
"To her killers, the Jamaica Constabulary Force remains undaunted by this evil act. We will stop at nothing until her killers are brought to justice," said Dr Carl Williams, commissioner of police, in a communique sent to the media.
"Where are we going as a nation with all this violence?" questioned Detective Inspector Carol Chisholm-Terrell, director of lifestyle and gender affairs at the Police Federation. "Any attack on a member of the JCF is an attack on the State, and we as a society need to start to notice and address this urgently."
"It is disturbing," said Inspector Dahlia Garrick, head of the Constabulary Communication Unit, "We have had four major incidents where JCF personnel have been attacked."
Stewart, in his exhortation, called on members of the force to keep the faith and focus on the tasks at hand. "Your endeavours are supported by the Church, and we are always there for you," he said.
In spite of these attacks, the morale of the members of the force is high, said Garrick.
"We won't be daunted," said Chisholm-Terrell. "We are here to protect. There's no retreat or surrender."
The Police High Command, in a communique, is also urging all officers, both on and off duty, to be "extremely vigilant and to take swift and decisive action to protect themselves, family, colleagues and members of the public within the remit of the law," adding that the "threat level against police officers remains high."