Nedburn Thaffe, Gleaner Writer
With a throng of unanswered questions still surrounding his death, relatives and friends of late Special Constable Kennard Chong turned out at the Andrews Memorial Seventh-day Adventist Church in St Andrew yesterday to pay their last respects.
It was a service filled with mourning as one by one persons took to the podium to echo glowing tributes about the life of the 23-year-old policeman.
Describing Chong as a young man who exemplified brilliance and was eager to serve, Deputy Commanding Officer of the Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF), Calvin Allen, said his commitment to serve earned him a number of awards. One such award was for him being the first ISCF member to retrieve a firearm for 2013.
"It's interesting to note (also) that for three consecutive years, 2010-2012, he received the top award for most arrests for his section," Allen said.
"His commanding officers described him as a strategic thinker, a visionary who was brilliant, innovative. As such he contributed much to the development of the unit. He was a leader among his peers. He was ready to command when no one else was around."
Allen added: "Kennard's career was poised to take off. He was summed up as being one for the future, but unfortunately that was not to be realised."
Woman Constable Georgette Taylor, who gave tribute on behalf of his 2009 batchmates, described Chong as a tower of strength for his peers during their time in training.
Taylor, who was brought to tears during her tribute, said Chong was one who "took everything seriously" and recalled how he excelled in his firearm training.
"You were the agent of change, not just a police officer but law-enforcement practitioner," she said.
Chong, who up until the time of his death served in the ISCF's agro and environment unit, was found dead at his home on January 13.
His death was initially believed to be a suicide. However, an investigation is currently being undertaken to see whether he was murdered.