Cop's colleagues bemoan his passing

BY MARK CUMMINGS
Editor-at-Large

Sunday, July 22, 2018

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“It (Lawrence's death) was a very, very serious shock to me. That is the type of news that I could never have prepared myself for, and I am saddened by his death,” an apparently shaken ACP Graham told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

SSP Lawrence, who served in the police force since 1981, was found dead around 7:30 pm in the Mango Walk area of St James.

It is reported that a close friend of the cop went to his Mango Walk residence and discovered his body dangling from a piece of rope, suspended from the ceiling.

An alarm was raised and the police called.

Up to the time of his untimely passing, Lawrence was the administrative officer for Police Area One, which includes the divisions of Westmoreland, Hanover, St James and Trelawny.

SSP Lawrence also served in other capacities in the force during his 37-year stint, including commanding officer for the parishes of Trelawny, Westmoreland and Hanover.

ACP Graham, who had worked with the late senior cop for over a year, yesterday described him “as a very dependable and reliable officer, who ensured that the task at hand was done, and he did it well”. ACP Graham said he last spoke to SSP Lawrence on Wednesday after he had returned from the doctor.

“I knew he had some health issues and was given five days' sick leave when he went to the doctor on Wednesday, and we spoke a few times on that day,” said a saddened ACP Graham.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Clifford Blake echoed ACP Graham's sentiments, describing his late colleague as a very disciplined and reliable police officer who was truly committed to his job of serving and protecting.

“SSP Lawrence served the Jamaica Constabulary Force for 37 years and he did so with humility, with discipline. And during the years I have had the distinction of working with him, Dermont was a very hard-working individual who tried his very best to get the job done,” said DCP Blake.

“He served in various capacities including being the divisional commander for Westmoreland and Hanover, but I remember most about Dermont was his reliability. Once he was given a task, you could rest assured that that task would be efficiently completed and on time,” he said, adding that…. “it is a very sad day for the JCF and for me personally, as we have lost a good officer.”

President of the Rotary Club of Lucea, Nerris Hawthorne, who worked with SSP Lawrence during his time in Hanover, said “it is absolutely devastating for someone so promising to go in such a way”.

“He was professional, good person to work with. He was interested in his job. He will be greatly missed. I am quite shocked to hear of his passing,” said Hawthrone.

“Ever since he came into the area (Hanover), he has been a part of everything that we have being doing. Whenever he was asked to take part, to attend meetings, he was always there,” she added, stressing that “he came across as a committed, Christian-type person.”

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