Fraser's death should be clarion call for rededication to duty -Laurie Lewis
Stabroek News
April 4, 2002

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The death of Superintendent Leon Fraser who was cut down on Tuesday by a bullet reportedly fired by one of the five escapees from the Georgetown prisons should be a clarion call to the police for a rededication to devoted duty, according to retired commissioner of police, Laurie Lewis.

In an invited comment to Stabroek News yesterday, he said that Fraser's death was also a clarion call for law-abiding citizens to understand its implications.

Lewis described the fallen officer as the most fearless person he had ever met. Fraser was a leading member of the anti-crime unit which had been set up during Lewis' tenure as police commissioner. Lewis said Fraser was responsible for a host of people being comfortable. He recalled the 2001 post-elections disturbances on the East Coast and said that it was Fraser and his team -- when there was no one to do it -- who cleared the roads that were blocked by burning poles. "This country and its people will miss him for his dedication to fighting crime."

Lewis said that the fallen police officer was a controversial figure in the eyes of some people and that the media highlighted the controversy. However, in the eyes of others, Lewis said, the deceased officer was a hero. He cited his fearless action in dealing with a knife-wielding bank robber during a foiled holdup at the Bank of Nova Scotia Robb Street branch. Lewis said that workers from the bank had called to express their sympathy.

Asked about the impact of Fraser's death on the force, Lewis said that he had no doubt that others would rise to the occasion as there would always be brave policemen around to deal with hardened criminals condignly, as Fraser had done.

He said that the monument recently dedicated to the memory of the policemen who had died in the line of duty over the years was testimony to that fact.

Lewis suggested that apart from the reward already being offered, members of the force and other persons should contribute to a fund which would be matched by the government for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons involved in Fraser's death. He said he was sure that members of the force would contribute generously.

Lewis offered to Fraser's wife and his family and relatives, the commissioner of police and the officers and other ranks, his deepest sympathy for the death of a brave and dedicated policeman.