Hanover cops mourn inspector’s shock death
In the middle of a jovial conversation, police Inspector Michael Brown suddenly appeared to suffer a seizure. In a flash, he slumped forward, lifeless.
The joie de vivre of the 56-year-old policeman, who was attached to the Lucea Divisional Headquarters in Hanover, was captured by his colleague and friend, Sergeant Michael Spence, who was sitting across from him.
“We were laughing and talking and suddenly he started having what looked like a fit, and he went down on the ground. I held him, talking to him, asking if he was okay,” Spence told The Gleaner on Tuesday afternoon, replaying the fateful final moments that have seared his memory.
Spence is still traumatised having witnessed his colleague’s death.
Brown, a 33-year veteran, reportedly had a heart condition, but it is unclear whether that had any bearing on his death.
“It hurts me so much knowing I was the last person who was with him when he died. I was talking to him, checking him, but got no response,” he said.
Efforts to revive Brown proved futile, said Superintendent Sharon Beeput, commander of the Hanover Police Division.
The policeman died approximately 12:30 p.m.
The divisional headquarters was heavy with solemnity and sadness on Tuesday. Among those present were deputy force chaplain with responsibility for Area One, Dexter Dennis, and Deputy Mayor Andria Dehaney-Dinham.
Inspector Mervin Hodges, head of operations, to whom Brown reported to directly, said he had spoken with the late lawman five minutes before he passed away.
“The team is grieving, but by the strength of God we hope to overcome,” he said.
Hodges says his sojourn with Brown started while he was a young policeman stationed in Westmoreland. “He was a disciplinarian, always had the right words. He was respected by all members of staff. As a shift commander, we looked forward for his relief on time and his communication throughout the times,” said Hodges.
The late inspector is survived by his widow and children.