Wed | Feb 8, 2023

Still no word on missing gun salute at cop’s funeral

Published:Monday | November 28, 2022 | 7:52 PM
Corporal Oliver Mullings served the JCF for 15 years before being killed by gunmen, while responding to a call on Third Street in Trench Town, St Andrew on Thursday, October 20.

Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson is still awaiting a report as to who was responsible for the failure of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to execute a 21-gun salute during the official thanksgiving service for Corporal Oliver Mullings on Sunday.

He has promised “swift corrective action” against the person(s).

In an email to all staff, sent at 8:34 pm on Sunday, the commissioner expressed displeasure at this glaring omission which he described as letting down the slain officer, his family and the JCF which he served for 15 years before being killed by gunmen, while responding to a call on Third Street in Trench Town, St Andrew on Thursday, October 20.

Head of the Constabulary Communications Unit (CCU), Senior Superintendent of Police Stephanie Lindsay, could not provide a deadline for the report ordered by Major General Anderson.

“There was no firing party, so the commissioner is asking the person who is responsible for the organisation (of the funeral) to respond for the breakdown. He was not satisfied that that very critical component was not there. We have a protocol and there are a couple of things that should be done in a prescribed format and order, especial when a member dies in the line of duty,” SSP Lindsay told The Gleaner.

However, up to press time the CCU had not identified that person or persons.

The 21-gun salute, executed by seven persons firing three volleys, usually at intervals of one minute, is considered to be one of the highest tributes to a slain officer or head of a country.

“As a member of the JCF who performed honourably, he was deserving of all our best efforts in the performance of his last rites. Unfortunately, we let him, his family and the JCF down.

“This failure to adequately execute the standards and procedures as outlined in Force Policy will not be tolerated and once the full report is received, swift corrective action will be taken,” Commissioner Anderson warned in the email.

Major General Anderson, who attended Corporal Mullings' funeral, pointed out that, “Before departing the funeral site an investigation was ordered into the absence of the firing party and other activities that were below the expected standard.”

SSP Lindsay admitted that the firing party was not present for the start of the funeral and could not provide an answer as to whether the members arrived at all, insisting that despite this, based on established protocols, the funeral got underway at the stipulated start time.

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