Police resolute as they mourn near 200 colleagues killed over last 20 years


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

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Police Commissioner Major General Antony Anderson yesterday reiterated that members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) would not be cowed by criminals as he led the men and women under his command in a “Day of Mourning” for the near 200 cops killed in the line of duty over the last 20 years.

“The members of the JCF will step up when it matters. These are a set of people who are so committed that even if on a normal day they might not be that enthused about something, whenever the day comes when Jamaica needs them, they will step up and do what they have to do,” Anderson told the Jamaica Observer yesterday as he underscored that this is a tough time for members of the force.

Anderson declared that the police are committed to continue their work, despite the pain over the fatal shooting of Constable Decardo Hylton and Detective Corporal Dane Biggs in Horizon Park, St Catherine, two Fridays ago, and added that he is prepared to lead his men and women through this difficult period.

“That is what leadership is about. I have been in the business for a long time so I have seen my fair share of things, so it is in this time that it matters and brings people together. That is the key that we come together, stronger together, and [achieve] a more focused outcome afterwards. We don't want these things to happen in vain,” added Anderson.

Writing in the Force Orders last week Anderson designated 6:00 am to 6:00 pm yesterday as a Day of Mourning for Hylton, Biggs, and the 194 other members of the JCF who have been murdered in the course of duty in the last two decades.

Among the marks of respect yesterday was the flying of the JCF flag at half-mast and one minute of silence during briefing parades and other official police gatherings.

In addition, uniformed members of the JCF were encouraged to cover the second button of their uniform shirts with black or to wear a black ribbon on their left side above the pocket.

“Words are never enough to convey expressions of sympathy, but my prayers are with families of our fallen officers. To those of you who knew them, heard of them, and served alongside them, we can and we will get through this challenging period together,” Anderson said in the Force Orders.

“This is a time for us to be united in purpose and to demonstrate more than ever that we are indeed a 'Force for Good',” added Anderson.

Hylton and Biggs were killed during a gun battle in the early morning of June 13. Two other cops were shot and injured in that incident.

Hours later the man believed to have been involved in the attacks on the cops, 39-year-old Damion Hamilton, was tracked to Cooreville Gardens, St Andrew, were he allegedly engaged the cops in another shoot-out, injuring two of them before he was fatally shot.

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