Regional

Left for dead

Former cop shot in head, living off $1,000 pension, gets help from JCF's Mobile Reserve

BY EVERARD OWEN
Observer writer

Monday, February 05, 2018

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A former policeman who was shot in the head while on duty in 1976, but survived, needs help.

The ex-cop, 74-year-old Lorenzo McLeggon, served six years in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) before he was injured and left for dead.

Last Friday when a team from the JCF's Mobile Reserve branch visited McLeggon at his home in Hart Hill, Portland, he was a happy man.

The team, headed by Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Steve McGregor, brought food items for McLeggon, who in return said: “It is the first I'm seeing Christmas in February.” He was in good spirits as he shared the reason for his current situation.

“I was stationed at SIS Harmon Barracks, Mobile Reserve, and I was on investigation in the Olympic Gardens area. I went to assist a shopkeeper who was held up and I misread the play. One of two gunmen came behind me and neck-hold me, stuck the gun in my head directly and shot me. If you look in the head you will see the depression. As a result, I have fragments of bullet in the brain and it gives me epileptic fit sometimes. I can't walk either,” he shared, noting that if it were not for his mother and sister, who both take care of him, he would have already been dead.

“I'm very [grateful] to Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Steve McGregor and his entourage; words can't tell how I feel. I wish I can get up miraculously and start walk again. I still love the police force, and if it were possible I would be in it, I'd rejoin,” he added.

ACP McGregor, who heads the JCF's Community Safety and Security Branch (SSB), stated that the team got wind of McLeggon's condition and felt compelled to visit him.

“The information was relayed to me by phone and it was heart-rending, so we ventured out here to confirm that we actually have an ex-member who is not so well. We have confirmed that Constable McLeggon got shot in 1976 whilst he was a part of an operational unit out of Mobile Reserve, which was then called the S90 gang, and he got shot and injured and was severed by the medical board,” McGregor said.

“What is very disturbing is that the pension that he is receiving is just over $1,000, and you see the state that the place is in. We made some quick initiative and brought some things. We heard he has no television and radio, and we brought a radio and we will be coming back. We will be engaging in a more permanent way with Food For the Poor to get a proper house for him and furniture. I intend to engage the Member of Parliament to see if I can get him on the PATH (Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education) programme so he can get a better remuneration to help him. We will be staying close to him,” McGregor promised.

In the same breath, Superintendent of Police Velma Thomas-Gayle, who is also from the JCF's Safety and Security Branch, said: “It means a lot to us as he is one of us and he has been out here for some time now. We just got the information about him and acting ACP Steve McGregor and the team of us from Kingston decided to come over because the safety team in Portland has initiated it, and we decided to come over and see what is happening.

“We reached out to Lasco and Cal's, who gave us some food items that we took. This is just the beginning of what the police are doing in reaching out to the citizens, and we need to take care of our own. He was injured in the line of duty and since then he has been ill. We will be doing more. I must commend the SSB team in Portland and Inspector Andrea Hill who told us about him.”

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