Christopher Serju Gleaner Writer
The mechanic/air-conditioning technician has worked at the Stony Hill and Constant Spring police stations. And when Automotives caught up with Veron Nesbeth at the Motorised Patrol Division, 16 Lower Elletson Road, Kingston, after 10 o'clock on a Friday morning he had reported for duty more than two hours earlier.
Nesbeth is not a member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) or any of its auxiliary units. He is a Jamaican concerned with ensuring that policemen and policewomen enjoy the luxury of air-conditioning, whether travelling on the nation's roads or working in their offices.
For more than five years Nesbeth has travelled between the three locations, effecting repairs to the air-conditioning units of the service vehicles and offices, in addition to carrying out mechanical repairs to some of the vehicles. It's a job from which he derives a lot of satisfaction but no income - and he wouldn't have it any other way.
"Me have couple good friends who are police," Nesbeth, popularly known as 'Short Man', told Automotives. His efforts, though well-appreciated, are unpaid for, but for the patriotic Jamaican it's a labour of love.
gratitude and appreciation
Inspector Aaron Wilson of the Motorised Patrol Division was hard-pressed to find a way to fully express his gratitude and appreciation for the volume and economic value of Nesbeth's volunteerism, which has touched most members of the team.
"He has touched every vehicle at Motorised Patrol and those which we cannot repair because of the expenses involved, I have a complete listing of them and their status, thanks to him," Wilson told Automotives. Where it's a case that the vehicle simply needs regassing for its air-conditioning or minor repairs, the civilian usually undertakes this at his own expense, and has been known to go well beyond the call of duty.
On one occasion Nesbeth signalled the driver of a police vehicle to stop on the road and, upon investigating and finding that the AC unit was not working, fixed it on the spot, sending the occupants off much cooler and happier. If on visiting any of the police stations he notices that the AC is defective, Nesbeth seeks the requisite permission and goes about effecting repairs.
Through his many acts of kindness over the years, the easy-going, soft-spoken Jamaican has directly touched the lives of many policemen and women, as well as civilians indirectly. Though he does not command a salary for this ongoing kindness, Veron 'Short Man' Nesbeth has the undying respect of his 'colleagues' in the police force.
When asked to put a dollar value on the work he has done over the years, Nesbeth chuckled, before replying, "It would a run a good money, but me never one day calculate nuh figure pon the work weh me a do. Me just volunteer to do it and done with it," he said.
Ironically, Inspector Wilson rates Nesbeth more for his skills as a mechanic than as an air-conditioning technician, pointing out that when police take their personal cars to him for cooling problems they usually find that he is also very adept at mechanical repairs. For this reason, they usually take their vehicles to him when they are in need of repair.