Police prepared to take on criminals -Felix
Lawmen killed in crime spree honoured

Stabroek News
July 28, 2003

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Though the crime rampage over the past 18 months claimed the lives of 21 of its members and put the Guyana Police Force under enormous pressure should a similar situation raise “its ugly head” the force will be able to deal with it in an effective way.

This was the assurance given by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Winston Felix, at yesterday’s wreath-laying ceremony for slain policemen at the `Monument for Fallen Heroes’, Police Officers Mess Compound, Eve Leary.

As part of the police force’s 164th anniversary celebrations, forty-seven of its members were honoured. These officers were killed between the years 1913 and 2003. Out of this number, twenty-one officers were killed between 2002 and 2003.

Felix, standing in for Police Commissioner (ag), Floyd McDonald, who is out of the country, described the occasion as a “solemn one”. He noted that the fallen officers paid the highest price a law enforcement officer could pay in the service of his country.

The deputy commissioner declared that the force is resolved to continue the fight against crime in ensuring public safety and developing public confidence. He said the force is aware that many citizens have lost confidence in its ability to fight crime as a result of its performance in battling the crime-ridden year.

According to Felix, in the 164 years of its life the force has developed a proud record of law enforcement adding that it will leave no stone unturned in protecting the lives of citizens.

He told the relatives and friends present that the force is sad because of their loss but also proud of the courageous duty of the fallen officers.

Minister of Home Affairs, Ronald Gajraj, who echoed some of Felix’s sentiments, said that the heinous act of violence perpetrated against the police officers must be seen as an assault on every Guyanese.

He pledged that all efforts and whatever resources are available will be expended to bring those guilty of committing the crimes against the officers to justice.

The minister said that now is the time for all to come together and offer prayers and support for the families of the fallen officers.

He said that the force stood tall over the last eighteen months even as it was faced with many challenges on a daily basis.

He assured the relatives of the fallen policemen that the deaths of those officers will not be in vain and they will always be remembered.

The minister called on all to understand the trials and tribulations faced by police officers and added that while some may stumble one should not condemn unless they have walked half a mile in the officers’ shoes.

The event was attended by a number of relatives and friends of the police officers killed in the line of duty or just because they were members of the force. The officers attended in their ceremonial dress and many of them lined the road on Carifesta Avenue while those in the police band were on the lawns providing the music.

The first police officer to be killed at the beginning of the crime spree was Superintendent Leon Fraser, one of Guyana’s most feared cops, who died in an ambush at Yarrowkabra, Linden/Soesdyke Highway in 2002.

He was followed in that same year by Sergeant Harry Kooseram, shot while on his way to work by a criminal on the Strathspey Public Road; Constable Sherwin Allen, ambushed and shot at Coldingen by criminals; Rural Constable Andrew Atwell, attacked by notorious criminals while on duty at the Alberttown Police Station; Constable Rawle Thomas, shot and killed by criminals in Linden; Lance Corporal Adrian London, shot and killed by criminals on Joseph Pollydore Street, Lodge while on his way home from work; Constables Outar Kisson and Ramphal Pardat, killed by criminals during an attack on the Rose Hall Police Outpost; Constable Feroze Bashir, shot and killed in Buxton; Inspector Leyland October, shot and killed by criminals at Russell and Sussex Streets; Constable Quincy James, shot and killed by criminals while on traffic duty on Regent Street; and Constable Colin Robertson, shot and killed by criminals in Sophia while on his way to work.

For the year 2003 those killed were; Constable Mark Latour, shot and killed by criminals at Arapaima Restaurant, Main and Quamina Streets; Rayon Roberts, shot and killed by criminals in Bent Street; Constable Mark Yaw, shot and killed while on his way to work; Constable Nankumar Mohabir, slain by criminals while on patrol duty at Friendship Public Road; Constable Deon Joseph, shot dead by criminals at `B’ Field Sophia while on his way to work; Constable Ronald Abel, murdered by criminals in Buxton; Sergeant Walton Brumell, shot and killed by criminals in a mini bus at Buxton while on his way to work; Constable Suresh Dhaniram, slain by criminals in a mini bus in Buxton; and Lloyd Cameron, shot and killed by criminals at Sophia while on his way to work. (Samantha Alleyne)

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