Mon | Oct 26, 2020

Monument to be erected in memory of police killed in line of duty

Published:Saturday | August 8, 2020 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia "Babsy" Grange speaking during the funeral for Superintendent Leon Clunis earlier today at the Church of the Open Bible on Washington Boulevard, St. Andrew.

Cabinet has approved the erection of a monument in memory of members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) who have been killed in the line of duty.

The monument will be erected on the grounds of the National Heroes Park in Kingston. 

Minister of  Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia 'Babsy' Grange made the announcement while paying tribute to the late Superintendent Leon Clunis, whose funeral is now coming to a close at the Church of the Open Bible on Washington Boulevard in St Andrew.

"As a Jamaica 60 Legacy Project ... the Jamaica 60 secretariat was recently approved by Cabinet ... so its work begins now in 2020 ... a two-year period for planning and execution leading up to 2022," she announced.

"As part of this project, I am pleased to announce that the Cabinet has approved the construction of a monument at the National Heroes Park honouring our brave members of the JCF who have been killed in the line of duty," said Grange, also a close family friend of the Clunises. 

The Jamaica Police Federation (JPF) and the Police Officers Association (POA), the two organisations that have been pushing for the establishment of the monument, both welcomed the announcement by Grange.

"I want to thank Prime Minister Andrew Holness and the entire Cabinet for approving the monument we have long advocated for," said chairman of the JPF, Detective Patrae Rowe.

Clunis died age 52 on June 30, 2020, weeks after the June 12 attack in Horizon Park, St Catherine. He was one of four cops who were shot during the police operation.

Constable Decardo Hylton and Corporal Dane Biggs, who were among the wounded policemen, died the same day. Another cop was injured.

Clunis was eulogised by Deputy Commissioner of Police Clifford Blake as a czar at the Anti-Corruption Branch of the JCF.

"He was one of the foremost members in line to be promoted to senior superintendent," Blake said, while describing the valuable work of the late lawman. 

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