A decent cop
The Editor Sir:
Despite the well-known stories of unconscionable behaviour by some members of the police force, and the resulting negative perception on the part of the public as a result, I have never been able to accept that the Jamaican police are mostly bad.
Even as I acknowledge that there are too many corrupt officers in the force, my faith in the courage and the basic decency of these officers stem from the fact that I have known, and continue to know, too many decent men and women who have chosen the force as a way to serve their country, and as a lawful alternative to a life outside of rural poverty.
They are my pastors' sons and daughters; people who I went to school and Sunday/Sabbath school with; people who I played cricket with in the road after school and on weekends, in rural Manchester. Many of us know people like this from elsewhere in Jamaica, who are serving honourably in the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
Constable David 'Terry' Benloss, a childhood friend, who was killed on December 22 as a result of the reckless action of a bus driver, was one of these officers.
Terry was buried on January 16. In tribute to him, I would just like the world to know that he was not a generic 'red seam policeman' and he was certainly not 'a lickle dutty police bwoy.' He was a profoundly decent human being - a beloved father, son, brother and friend, and the pain of his needless lost is incalculable.
May his soul rest in peace.
I am, etc.,
GRACE VIRTUE, PhD
Silver Spring, MD