Glenroy Sinclair, Assignment Coordinator
Lucius Thomas hopes to have cases involving slain cops solved more efficiently
Former police commissioner Lucius Thomas, who took up his appointment on Monday at the national security ministry as coordinator of welfare benefits for members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), is hoping to have the cases of police personnel killed in the line of duty expedited.
"Another thing I will be looking at is the convalescent home for members of the police force," said Thomas, who received a warm welcome when he showed up for work, Monday morning, at his New Kingston office.
Several trips islandwide
He intends to make several trips to police facilities islandwide, to ensure that all is well.
An executive member of the Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, explained that the cases of police personnel killed in the line of duty is still a major concern.
"A vast number of these cases are still unsettled. These include officers who have been killed in the early 2000s. Just two weeks ago, an officer who was killed in the latter 1990s, that case has just been settled," the executive member disclosed.
Pointing to other concerns, the officer stressed that police personnel who have been injured on the job and paid hefty sums in medical expenses, plus some who have been charged and acquitted, are yet to be compensated for their legal fees.
Thomas' appointment was announced by National Security Minister Peter Bunting at the opening of the 69th Police Federation conference, held recently at Breezes Resort and Spa in Trelawny.
Bunting said Thomas will liaise with government agencies to eliminate the bureaucracy that has been delaying welfare benefits to JCF members.
This means he will be working closely with the federation to assess the police welfare needs. The former police commissioner will also remove the obstacles in accessing existing benefits, and will develop recommendations for new benefits.