GEORGE HENRY - Rev. Colville Webb
BY GEORGE HENRY, STAR WRITER
REVEREND COLVILLE WEBB has been following the Lord over the past 31 years. However, prior to him starting his walk with God, he started working as a police officer and spent 35 years in the Jamaica Constabulary Force before retiring last February.
He has worked at the Hayes, May Pen, Four Paths, Chapleton and Rock River Police Stations, all in Clarendon, before serving at the Police Training School as an instructor, and then at the Community Relations Division as inspector in charge of the Mediation Unit. Of the 31 years he has been walking with God, Webb has been working as a pastor for 28. His entry into the pastorate after accepting Christ as a young member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, came only a few years after.
"In the early stage, it (working as a policeman and as a pastor) was somewhat difficult. There were times when I would have been required to do my duties as a member of the force and at the same time there were pastoral duties which I was required to perform. But, as I continued, there became an understanding with my senior officers and once I requested time, allowance was made. So after a time it was really good and there was no problem," said Webb.
He stated it was not difficult to be a pastor at his church in Fernleigh Avenue, May Pen Clarendon, where he also worked as an officer. However, when he was transferred to the Mediation Unit in the force, it became a challenge, especially when the bishop of his church was no longer able to carry out the duties due to old age.
Rev. Webb said because he had to serve both the Constabulary Force and God and things started to get very challenging, he had to make a decision to go full time as a pastor, hence his retirement last year.
ACT AS GUIDE
He said working in the Jamaica Constabulary Force and being a pastor made policing much easier for him. Webb noted that his Christian principles were able to guide him along the path which people were expecting.
Rev. Webb noted that as a Christian, he was expected to do the things which the police force wanted him to do, which meant that he would have to go by his moral principles. This, he said, made policing easier for him as a Christian.
Webb stated that he carried a firearm in the early years of his career in the force. However, after a few years, he said he stopped doing so.
"I got a conviction that I did not really need to carry a firearm. I needed to see everybody equal as a person and as soon as they knew what you stand for, then you would get support from people. So I did that for about 20 years and I have recovered several guns even without carrying a firearm," Rev. Webb pointed out.
He said he did not need to take a firearm with him because believed the Lord would protect him.
Rev. Webb said his Christian principles in no way forced him to be sympathetic to criminals. He stated that in dealing with criminals he had to be fair and at the same time firm. Once that principle of being fair and firm was carried out, Webb said there was no problem, as even criminals respected him, because they knew what he stood for.
Rev. Webb said criminals knew that he was never a police officer who went beyond what the law asked him to do.
He said he was placed in the force by God for the years he served there, and he believed he was there to make a difference.
Rev. Webb wants to remind his former colleagues in the force to remember that they are also there to make a difference. He says they should remember that they are not in the force by mere chance.
"I want to say to them, 'Serve, bearing in mind that God has appointed you and you are to do what God wants you to do," reminded Rev. Webb.
The father of Colville Jr., Damion, Francine and Grace and married to Yolorn, wants other officers in the force who are not yet saved, to remember that they are there making a sacrifice by putting their lives on the line.
Rev. Webb is begging his former colleagues to follow the rules if they want to get law-biding citizens on their side. Once they get law-abiding citizens on their side, he said their work would become easier.
The ex-cop, now pastor, said the crime rate at the moment does not make him comfortable in a country which is God-blessed. He said most persons would like to live in Jamaica, but are uncomfortable with crime.
"Job opportunities must be created for the unemployed so that crime can be reduced," Webb said.