Tue | Dec 7, 2021

Cops mourn as pregnant colleague collapses, dies

Published:Friday | July 25, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Janet Silvera, Senior Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

Woman Detective Constable Camille Spencer's colleagues say you could see her open teeth and smile several yards away, "because she was always smiling".

Spencer, 35, died yesterday morning, 20 minutes after she was taken to the Falmouth Hospital in Trelawny, suffering from shortness of breath. She was three months pregnant and had worked the night shift.

It was not clear what caused her death.

"She felt well enough to work last night (Wednesday)," said a colleague who had known her since the day she graduated from the Police Academy approximately 12 years ago.

The words that resonate most with the description of her include hard-working, jovial, kind, honest, sturdy, dependable, professional and humble.

Spencer's death has had a devastating effect on her colleagues, said Assistant Commissioner of Police Warren Clarke.

"Her death has been a great loss to the force. We have lost an asset. For a young person, she was very focused and very solid. That was what was amazing about her. She was sure of where she was going and how to get there," said Clarke, who is in charge of Area One.

The mother of a five-year-old daughter, Rhea, Spencer was a member of the Major Investigation Task Force, and had only been stationed in Falmouth for the past four months. She was originally from St Lennards in Bethel Town, Westmoreland, but has worked in St James and Trelawny as well.

One of her best friends, Det Cpl Debbie Mitchell, who was supposed to be celebrating her birthday yesterday, woke up to the devastating news.

"I can't eat. Most of us can't eat because we were a very close unit when she worked at the Criminal Investigation Branch in Westmoreland."

Mitchell said she called Spencer twice on Wednesday to discuss the police examination which the constable was slated to sit on August 13.

"I called her last night (Wednesday night), but I couldn't reach her."

Like the other members of the team who spoke glowingly about Spencer, Mitchell said she took her job very seriously, and was able to work on her own.

"She didn't need any constant supervision," said another colleague.

A group of counsellors has been called in to provide grief counselling at the Falmouth Police Station this morning.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com