Farquharson has big plans for St Mary
PORT MARIA, St Mary:
Superintendent Fabian Farquharson is a pleasant but plain-speaking man who worked in Corporate Area communities such as Hunts Bay, Olympic Gardens and Greenwich Town in the South St Andrew Division before he was transferred two months ago to head St Mary's Police Division.
Farquharson loves his job, but readily admits that it took him a while to consider a career in the Jamaican Constabulary Force (JCF). He told Rural Xpress: "The truth is, I come from a rural community, Whitehall in Westmoreland, and when I was growing up, the main things people did for a living were either fishing or farming. I tried both and never liked them.
"I did some skills training. But I didn't like that either because I was a welder, and on my first job, I got robbed and didn't collect once cent. So I said to myself: 'The best thing is to get a job where nobody is going to rob you'. That's why I was attracted to this. People will tell you all kinda supm', but mi waan' money, guaranteed money. Mi want a guaranteed payday to take care of my family.
"It is a fulfilling job. You get a lot of opportunities to help people, and I think making a contribution in terms of crime reduction is a very significant achievement, and one that anyone who is so engaged should be proud of."
Having served in the force for the last 35 years, St Mary's new police chief is a well-seasoned officer who has experienced all kinds of criminal investigations. However, Farquharson is quick to acknowledge the new role differs greatly from his previous undertaking.
"It's a very different style of policing in St Mary," he explained. "But I am a person who adjusts easily, so I have no difficulty making the transition. I came here, made my own assessment, and within a day or two realised the style of policing I was accustomed to cannot work. Here, you have to be more with the people, but I am more accustomed to that, having worked in Clarendon, Manchester, and St Elizabeth.
"I came and found the Community Safety and Security (CSS) team here as a well-oiled machine. The people have a lot of interest in what they do, so I'm just assisting in providing the guidance and leadership because what the CSS does is really the strategic mandate of the JCF".
Farquharson came to St Mary to replace Deputy Superintendent Dwight Powell, the commanding officer during the period Jason Beadle, one of the men accused of the April 2016 murder of US missionaries, Harold Nichols and Randy Hentzel, escaped from police custody and was subsequently recaptured.
The new police chief is confident he can restore faith in the local force, but the fatal shooting of taxi driver, Robert Brown, and his passenger, Diana Booth, in Annotto Bay, just hours after this interview was conducted, suggests that Farquharson has plenty of work to do.
He said: "I intend to make sure that we make a great impact on the community by winning back the trust that was lost between the police and citizens. If I can get that trust back, I know I would have done a lot, and all the other problems will be solved flowing from that. That is what I'm hoping for because I want to be sure that when I leave here St Mary is a safer place."