‘We have families too’ - Cops in pain as another colleague murdered

May 08, 2023
District Constable Ricardo Jarrett.
District Constable Ricardo Jarrett.

Damion Pryce, the President of the United District Constable Association, has expressed his dissatisfaction with the apparent lack of empathy shown by some members of society who he claims do not place a significant importance on the lives of police officers who have been killed.

Pryce, speaking hours after the murder of his colleague, Ricardo Jarrett, said some people fail to recognise that policemen and women have families too. He lamented, what he said, is a tendency by some persons to treat police officers as if they are robots, not recognising the trauma they endure on the job.

"It's one of the hardest things to do," he said about dealing with the fact that a colleague has been killed.

"It's your very own that you work with on a daily basis who has been killed by gunmen. We're fighting the same cause and most times, people around the society don't see it as anything, it's 'Oh, its another police'. You're not a human who have a family, a wife, a child, a husband. It's not seen like that," Pryce said.

He said that despite the pain of losing a colleague, cops have no choice but to be on the frontline to ensure they protect and serve the citizens.

"We have to fight level-headed, we can't fight out of ordinance, we can't fight out of revenge. Based on training, we continue to serve. It's just training, that's all there is," Pryce said.

The District Constable Association head was among several heartbroken cops who gathered at the Darling Street Police Station in Kingston yesterday to salute their fallen colleague Jarrett.

The 30-year-old Jarrett, a district constable, was shot and killed about 3 a.m. on Berwick Road in the capital city, yesterday. The police said that he was dropping off a female companion when he was pounced upon by several armed men who shot him. His firearm was also stolen.

"It's just sad, very sad. What can we say, it's just unfortunate. It's just a whole lot but together, we continue to fight our storm," Pryce told THE STAR.

The association's president said several colleagues are now in mourning as two other district constables - from the Spanish Town and Mountain View police stations - died last week from medical issues.

"It's a whole lot, but together, we continue to fight our storm," Pryce said during his visit at Darling Street.

The Police High Command has expressed condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of the slain district constable. The force said it is committed to conducting a thorough investigation and to apprehend the persons responsible for his death.

Colleagues at the his station characterised the man as a 'good cop'. One officer says though she's only known him for about two months and he has always been a shining light in their division.

"He's a humble person, very positive, always showing a good face," one female cop said.

Just over five hours after Jarrett died, another policeman, Ramone Evans, lost his life, this time in a motor vehicle crash. According to the police, Evans, a constable assigned to St Andrew South Division, was driving a Nissan Sunny motor car, heading towards Spanish Town when he crashed into a ditch.

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