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Commissioner of Police, Lucius Thomas has said that the response by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to criminal activities has been quick and decisive, “a sure and certain indication that the Police Force will never surrender, will never retreat and will never submit to tyranny”. “To date, 40 of our colleagues have died in service with 18 paying the ultimate price in defence of law and order. Such atrocities directed at the Force are meant to weaken our resolve and fortitude and cower us into submission, but this will never deter us,” the Commissioner declared.
He was speaking at the Force’s annual commemorative and memorial service, held at the Calvary Baptist Church in Montego Bay on November 27.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers of the JCF, led by the Commissioner, and Assistant Commissioner, Keith Gardener attended the service.
The service was held under the theme: ‘Law Enforcement, A Divine Vocation’, and glowing tributes were paid to the many police officers who died off duty and those killed in the line of duty.
Mr. Thomas said that notwithstanding the levels of crime and violence in the country, the policemen and women were seeking to ensure that “good conquers evil”, and peace and harmony restored to all communities.
“This occasion affords us an opportunity to renew our pledge, strengthen our resolve and commitment to the service of our country and fellowmen. We must acknowledge, however, that the many strategic and tactical plans which are being implemented by the force, the Police High Command, the Divisional Officers, will not by themselves effect the requisite change.,” the Commissioner said.
“Let us acknowledge that we cannot watch and serve this country successfully without the protection of God. With his strength, we can enforce the laws of the country impartially without fear or favour, treating each person as humanely as possible,” he added.
The Commissioner said that as the JCF paid tribute to fallen members who have served valiantly and faithfully, “let us take comfort that their lives were not lost in vain”.
In his message, which was read by Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, Derrick Kellier, Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips said that the Ministry considered service to be an important aspect of the lives of the brave men and women who served the country with “a sense of purpose, an attitude of dedication and a display of professionalism, bolstered by impeccable integrity”.
Superintendent Minister of the Montego Bay/Mount Ward Methodist Churches, Rev. Everald Galbraith, who spoke on the theme: ‘Law enforcement – a divine vocation’, said that God, who is the source of authority, has called law enforcement officers and delegated authority to them.
“Every law enforcement officer should always remember that they are under authority and will have to give an account ultimately to God. It also implies that every time an officer of the law is attacked or killed, it is not just an attack on the state, it is an attack on the authority of God and a rebellion against God. All law enforcement agents of the state are therefore to be respected because they are appointed by God himself, ” Rev. Galbraith emphasised.