by Rawlston Pompey
Likened to many persons that have been graved and ‘Posthumously Honored,’ the living and actively serving members of the ‘Police Service,’ shall be treated no different. One of the ‘Defining Moments’ in the tenure and career of a serving law enforcement officer, organizational recognition. Though long transitioned, such moments shall come to the survivors of those that have performed their duties courageously and deserved to be meritoriously awarded. When two ‘Investiture Ceremonies’ were reportedly held at ‘Government House,’ jaded and despondent, rank and file officers of the ‘Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda (RPFAB),’ had come to the realization that all two of the six ‘Police Service Commission (PSC)’ members wanted in their possession, was the ‘Queen’s Police Medal (QPM).’
CRITERIA – COST OF LIFE
Moreover, the crowning moment invariably comes when the eligible officer was accorded a ‘Meritorious Award.’ Such had often been the case, when the ‘Queen’s Police Medal (QPM),’ was so bestowed. Such a moment has always come when his/her human dignity and worth have been respected and recognized. Though long forgotten, many officers would have, undoubtedly, met one of the two, or both criteria for bestowal of; (a) ‘The King’s Police Medal (KPM); and (b) Queen’s Police Medal (QPM)’ [1954-2022]. The given criteria speak to; (i) ‘Acts of exceptional courage and skill, at the ‘Cost of their Lives;’ and (ii) Exhibiting conspicuous devotion to duty’ [Wikipedia: K & Q: P& FSM].
This commentary is not only intended to ‘Evoke Memory,’ but also intended to ‘Inspire Abhorrence’ to apparent blatant selectivity and ‘Hypocrisy,’ dogging the ‘Queen’s Police Medal.’ It particularly looks at; (a) ‘The London Gazette ; (b) Acts of Courage’ that meet the criteria set by ‘St. James’ Palace’ for actively-serving members of the Police Service.’ It shall show that such ‘Criteria’ speaks specifically to an officer’s ‘Eligibility’ to be so recommended. It also looks at; (c) ‘An imaginary ‘Letter of Apology to Police Corporal Greg Grell’ from ‘Her Majesty; and (d) A ‘Factual Letter of Commendation’ to the said subordinate Police officer, from Commissioner of Police, Atlee Rodney QPM.’
ILLITERACY – IGNORANCE – STUPIDITY
Within the social sphere, as humans interact with each other, very few occurrences ever seemed to have sprung up without surprises. Invariably, some are greeted pleasantly, and some with consternation. Such has always been, and continues to be the human nature, behavior and responses. Looked at from a different perspective, among man’s gravest enemies have been ‘Illiteracy; Ignorance; and Stupidity.’ These were often seen as being more costly than tertiary education. Though the more enlightened may frown when certain courses of action were taken and humans become incensed, there shall be an understanding that except that of ‘Judas Iscariot,’ ‘Kissing’ invariably goes by ‘Favor.’ In the wider society, this was when personal feelings influenced who shall be supported or helped, while organizationally, who might be awarded ‘Medals.’
SENSE OF OBSERVATION
It has been known that only the leadership position places the ‘Commissioner of Police’ in the unchallengeable position to make informed selections of those deserving to be recognized for honors. Such recognition not only brings satisfaction to recipients, but also helps to motivate and inspire others with such aspirations. Few people would deny that for the most part, it has been constantly seen through the eyes of those with a keen ‘Sense of Observation,’ people with reasonable expectations. These are the professionals and career officers that would have been seen religiously and dedicatedly performing their assigned duties. These are the personnel that have been unrelenting in their efforts, particularly in bringing perpetrators to justice.
The ‘Police Leadership’ is well-positioned to know and make recommendations for those officers that he knew personally or through the ‘Personnel Files’ of those he then commands as having performed; (a) ‘Acts of Courage; or (b) Meritorious Service to the field of law enforcement.’ These have been the truly dedicated and devoted law enforcers. These officers desire not, and beg not for favors, nor kisses for their dedicated services. Though they make no such demand, the ‘Police Leadership’ has an administrative responsibility to ensure that they are accorded recognition for the role they continue to play, in ensuring that the ‘Rule of Law’ prevails within the society.
SCHEME OF THINGS
As it relates to ‘Acts of Courage,’ this can be said of many other officers. Many have made the ultimate sacrifices with their time, effort and energy. Many have exhibited ‘Acts of Courage,’ thereby; (a) ‘Sustaining life-threatening injuries; (b) Incapacitated: (c) Suffering immense pain; and (d) Loss of life’ unwaveringly serving the people and nation, in among one of the most dangerous careers- ‘Law Enforcement.’ Then for effectiveness and achievement of non-organizational objectives or reasons of obscurity, there is the concept- ‘Manipulation.’ Thus, when the end is to be used in justifying the means, the weak is often exploited, while the ignorant, dull and dotish, so positioned, were to be made exploitatively useful. Such has been human nature and the ‘Scheme of Things.’
SPIRIT OF FIGHTING
Inherent in the nature of man is the ‘Spirit of Fighting.’ Thus, it has been the nature of man to fight. Frequently, such fighting was occasioned over trivialities or vain glory. Intrinsically, that which has value and adds to the ego of man and woman, had often been said to be worth fighting for. That appears not to be all. Man’s flirtatious behaviors have often exposed him to all kinds of danger. In its application to the ‘Police Service,’ when it was seen that certain members on the ‘Police Service Commission (PSC),’ may have been quietly fighting for the ‘Queen’s Police Medal (QPM),’ eligible and actively-serving ‘Police Officers,’ reportedly took umbrage. Such was against actively-serving Commissioner of Police, Atlee Rodney QPM and Governor General, His Excellency, Sir Rodney Errey Lawrence Williams KGN, GCMG.’
WAR: HAND AND MEDAL
Interestingly, after some officers had retired decades ago from the ‘Police Service,’ and appointed membership to the ‘Police Service Commission (PSC),’ they were said to have been waging ‘War For Medal.’ Such may have been fought against actively serving members of the ‘Police Service’ [Antigua and Barbuda]. Now, when world renowned social commentator, ‘Slinger Francisco, Might Sparrow,’ sang about ‘Vero and Lilian,’ he reveled that both had been fighting ‘Big war over a one hand man.’ Humorously, he said that it was the ‘Short piece of hand they want in their possession.’ Most pointedly, he described that part ‘From the wrist to the elbow.’ Then he said; ‘Mama, they won’t let go; Big war, piece of hand that they fighting for’ [1968: Song: Piece of Hand: YouTube].
In different jurisdictions, it has been the knowledge that ‘Police Services’ of mixed-nationalities have often faced with the issue of insularity. Almost always, this has been one of the demoralizing factors. Not infrequently, many personnel have been sidelined. Given that which invariably obtained, it will have left no unfounded assertions that organizational leadership will have been administratively selective and discriminatory. Those so environmentally positioned, will have either extended, or denied some members of ‘Work-Associated Privileges.’ Consequently, many competent and committed members will not only have been left ‘disappointed, discontented and dejected, but left to descend into the ‘Sea of Despair.’
PATRIOTIC – FAITHFUL – TRUE
The lot professionally and psychologically that was often brought to bear upon individual officers was not only unbearable, but also inescapable. Yet for reasons of; (a) ‘Loyalty; (b) Devotion; and (c) Commitment to the ‘Rule of Law,’ the overwhelming majority have persevered, and even when conditions are less than ideal, many have remained ‘Patriotic; Faithful; and True.’ Organizationally, that which constitutes ‘Rights,’ are usually that which have support in law. Conversely, that which constitute ‘Privileges,’ are usually that which is left to the inherent discretion of the ‘Commissioner of Police.’ Not infrequently, when those that are ‘hand-picked’ to superintend Police Services, they are seen as being deprived of their independence in exercising ‘Discretionary Powers.’
Specific to this jurisdiction, there have been those with such harbored, but erroneous belief that the ‘Rank’ of officers, has been stipulated as the criteria for eligibility for being bestowed the prestigious ‘QPM.’ That which has been uncontroverted facts, are that several ‘Police officers’ have been so awarded, while actively serving in the ‘Police Service.’ In support of such contention and in making the point, referral has been made of the ‘London Gazette.’ Research has revealed that four ‘Actively Serving Members’ of the Police and Fire Service’ were so recognized and honored by the ‘Queen Elizabeth II’ [London Gazette: ISBN: 0 11: 661:588 – 5 & ISSN 0374 – 3721: December 31, 1988].
The ‘Police Service’ was allotted the maximum of four Medals. For the benefit of official knowledge and that of currently-serving members of the ‘Police and Fire Services,’ it states; ‘The QUEEN has been ‘Graciously Pleased’ on the advice of Her Majesty’s Antigua and Barbuda ‘MINISTERS’ to approve the ‘Queen’s Police and Fire Service Medals’ to the undermentioned: (i) ‘Clement Mc Wilton Dunnah, Superintendent: (ii) Rupert Vestin Montgomery Charles, Superintendent; and (iii) Malcolm Alphonso Nicholas Assistant Commissioner; and (iv) George Belphester Thomas Superintendent.’ That were to have been their ‘Defining Moments.’
Except for ‘George B. Thomas QFSM,’ his colleagues have all been deceased. The deceased officers had taken to their grave full knowledge that they had been so recognized by ‘Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II,’ while actively serving in these Services. That which shall be understood is that the actively-serving ‘Commissioner of Police’ may make representation to the ‘Governor General.’ Then ‘His/Her Excellency’ is duty-bound to refer the ‘Recommendations’ to the ‘Executive’ arm of Government, before dispatch to ‘St. James’ Palace: S.W.I.’ The ‘London Gazette’ identifies the recipients of both the Police and Fire Services.’
TACT AND DISCRETION
Today, such moments may come to those that in hind sight, could consider themselves lucky to see the imaginary waving of a ‘Magic Wand.’ Such wand saw their names magically popped up for the ‘Queen’s Police Medal.’ Incidentally, this has not been the case for many serving or retired officers. These included then retired, (now deceased) ‘Assistant Commissioner of Police Henry Greaux and ‘Assistant Superintendent Ivason Athill.’ He retired from the Police Service, while the latter retired from both the ‘Police Service and ‘Police Service Commission’ without being awarded the ‘Queen Police Medal’ [PSC: 2005-2015]. Both were officers of great wisdom, integrity and impeccable character. They had been among the most loyal, dedicated and committed ‘Career Police Officers.’
DESCENDED INTO OBLIVION
During his tenure, ‘Assistant Commissioner Henry Greaux’ single-handedly employed, skills and tact in ‘Crowd Control.’ He had controlled scores of ‘Football’ enthusiasts, followers and fans at the ‘Antigua Recreation Ground.’ This he did, without having to effects arrest or employ force against anyone. He had not only earned their respect, but easily from a distance, ensured that there were no incursions on to the field of play. His approach speaks to an understanding of human nature and behavior. While he had been left to ‘Descend into Oblivion,’ no amount of exaggeration of truth, or sentimental expressions, could ever justify bestowal of awards upon persons, immeasurable and incomparable to what he has done for ‘Law Enforcement.’
If there was any doubt as to those eligible for bestowal of the ‘Queen’s Police Medal,’ this may have been cleared by the two recently held ‘Investiture Ceremonies’ [Observer: January 5 & 12, 2023]. It was not clear who may have been ‘Damningly Confused,’ but confusion appeared to have reigned at ‘Government House.’ Such may have been evident when those responsible for bestowing the prestigious ‘Queen’s Police Medal’ upon those most deserving of recognition for ‘Meritorious Service.’ Clearly, they seemed to have experienced great difficulty distinguishing members of the ‘Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda (RPFAB)’ from those of the ‘Police Service Commission (PSC).’
Factually, the two clear and ‘Distinct Criteria’ are: (i) ‘An Act of Courage’ performed by an officer; and (ii) For ‘Meritorious Service’ [Wikipedia]. It has never been about rank, but of ‘Acts’ and Service’ Whether or not officers that have left the ‘Police Service’ to find pastures, where the grass may have been greener or suspended from office into retirement for reasons of ‘Dishonesty,’ these were not necessarily matters for the knowledge of ‘Her Majesty’s Representative.’ Revelations may have militated against any consideration. Be that as it may, though bestowed out of active service, it was still commendable of those to be so thoughtful and considerate.
In the case of ‘Assistant Commissioner, Henry Greaux and Assistant Superintendent Ivason Athill,’ that which stands irrefutably true, have been their allegiance; loyalty; and integrity. Relating to the former, he was well known for the professional use of tact and discretion. The nation has not only come to respect him, but also admired him for his deportment and mannerism. He performed his duties and acquitted himself exceedingly well. Consequent upon the mandatory age of retirement, though he was not a member of the ‘PSC,’ he would have chuckled in the tomb. Before his transition, he knew that ‘Medals- (i) ‘Good Conduct; (ii) Long Service: (iii) Colonial Police Medal; and (iv) The ‘Illusive Queen’s Police Medal,’ were normally bestowed upon recipients, while in active service. If it were not so, the former may have been resting peacefully with his ‘Medal.’
These officers have been the ones that have stayed on in the ‘Police Service,’ not necessarily to be recognized for ‘Longevity,’ but to offer protection and service to the citizenry. These have been the faithful ones. Such speaks to their faithfulness and ‘Unwavering Loyalty. As it affects their retention, the ‘Police Leadership’ shall know that mere occupation with the thought of ‘Superintendence’ of the agency, entails much more than answering to influential elements within the environment. They shall know that they also have a legal and moral duty for creating an enabling working environment. Such environment shall be conducive to inter alia; (a) ‘Morale boosting; (b) Productivity; and (c) Achievement of organizational goals and/or objectives.
PROVOKING NO OFFENCE
Among law enforcers, seeking to dispel certain widely held belief, it has been researched and shown that ‘St. James’ Palace’ made no stipulations that only ‘High-ranking Police officers’ shall be considered eligible to be awarded the ‘Queen’s Police Medal (QPM).’ Through this medium, except evoking memories, it shall ‘Provoke No Offence’ in contending that now that ‘Members of the Police Service Commission (PSC),’ with no specific ‘Acts of Courage,’ were considered for such ‘Medal,’ it shall provoke no consternation nor animosity that other ‘Retirees,’ – Dead or Alive,’ that have made outstanding and meaningful contributions to the ‘Rule of Law,’ shall also be so recognized.
STATUS OF MEMBERS
The statutory provisions have made it sufficiently clear that him/her that superintends the Police Service, shall be familiar as to be well-positioned to recognize that; ‘Every person for the time being serving in the ‘Police Service’ shall be deemed a ‘Member of the Force,’ and shall have and enjoy; (a) ‘All the rights; (b) Powers; (c) Authorities; and (d) Privileges.’ In recent times, as may be courageously attested, this not only appears to have been frequently overlooked, but also the most demoralizing to personnel. Among these, are two fundamentals; (i) ‘Rights; and (ii) Privileges’ [Section 18: Police Act: Chapter 330]. Even after personnel may have served on the ‘Police Service, there is absolutely ‘No Status’ in this Act for members of the ‘Police Service Commission (PSC).’
Through this medium, except evoking memories, it shall provoke no offence to say that if ‘Members of the Police Service Commission (PSC),’ with no specific feat or ‘Acts of Courage,’ are considered for such ‘Medal,’ it shall provoke neither consternation, nor animosity that other ‘Retirees’ – Dead or Alive,’ that have made outstanding and meaningful contributions to the ‘Rule of Law,’ not to be so considered. Since it has been long been established, where persons that have made meaningful contributions to nation building had been ‘Posthumously Honored,’ such precedence shall not be made illusive to other ‘Retirees. In attempting to dispel certain widely held belief, it has been researched and shown that ‘St. James’ Palace’ has made no stipulations that only ‘High-ranking Police officers’ shall be considered eligible to be so awarded.
As it affects the doctrine of ‘Sovereign Immunity’ that states; ‘The King can do no wrong,’ such doctrine had applied to ‘Her Majesty, Queen Elizabet II.’ It also follows that those appointed in a ‘Royal Representative’ capacity, they too, can do no wrong. This has not been totally embraced by members of the Police Service. When the ‘Governor General’ reportedly awarded the ‘QPM’ to two members of the ‘Police Service Commission (PSC);’ (i) ‘Former Superintendent Cosmas Marcelle [1969-1998]; and (ii) Former Inspector of Police, Claudette Brathwaite-Mason [May 3, 1972 – 2014], actively serving members on the ‘Police Service Commission (PSC),’ rank and file Police personnel respectfully saw ‘His Excellency,’ as having committed a ‘Cardinal Wrong.’
BELATELY OR POSTHUMOUSLY
Those ‘Awards’ have established a precedence for others to be ‘Belatedly or Posthumously’ honored. Even so, the ‘Governor General, His Excellency, Sir Rodney Errey Lawrence Williams KGN, GCMG,’ still runs the risk of: (a) ‘Possibly being seen as susceptible to environmental influence or pressure; (b) Failing to seek, or blatantly ignored administrative guidance: (c) Being submissively guilty of acts of docility: and (d) Unwittingly exposing himself to organizational ridicule, and consequences bordering treason.’ Now, brazenly, many have asked; ‘What may have informed the apparent ‘Suspect Decisions?’ The simple answer is; ‘Though deceased, still, ‘The Queen’ can do no wrong.’
DISPIRITED THE COMMITTED
Though many actively-serving ‘Police officers, accepted no such doctrine, none shall be overly-officious as to be seen as inept in venturing to say that ‘His Excellency’ had not only seemed to have ‘Dispirited the Committed,’ but also committed a ‘Treasonable Wrong’ in denying his ‘Deputy Everton Jeffers’ the privilege of being awarded the prestigious ‘Queen’s Police Medal.’ Their ‘Awards’ have established a precedence for that which might now be followed. Their ‘Awards’ have established a precedence for that which might now be followed.
BACK DOOR DELIVERY
Rightly or wrongly, the rank and file have seen the ‘QPM’ being diverted from the realm of actively-serving Police officers. Through the door of the ‘Police Service Commission, ‘Santa’ seemed to have dropped off two ‘Queen’s Police Medals’ for two of its currently-serving members. Though it may not have been seen as ‘Big War,’ it was made clear that it was the ‘Queen’s Police Medal,’ those members had been fighting for. Though many Police personnel seemingly had no qualms with the ‘Back Door Delivery,’ some harbored the belief that ‘Santa’ was a brute.
ERAS OF HISTORY
Notwithstanding, there was something fundamental about the different ‘Eras of History.’ Law enforcement officers shall remember that humans were known to have delivered ‘Gifts’ to special people on special occasions or for special events and for special reasons. Firstly, that which continues to be scripturally taught was that; ‘Three wise men travelled from the East.’ They bore gifts of ‘(a) Gold; (b) Frankincense: and (c) Myrrh.’ These had special significance to the people of that era. Such ‘Gifts’ marked the birth of the ‘Christ Child, Jesus’ [ESV: Matthew 2: 11]. Then at the ‘Yuletide Season,’ the story has been told that ‘Santa Clause’ travelled through the Wintery snow. He was said to have been on a sleigh, pulled by reindeers without ‘Red Noses.’ He too, bore Gifts for children at ‘Christmas.’
BACK DOOR SANTA
For many currently serving members, and several that have since retired from the ‘Police and Fire Services,’ whether riding on; (a) ‘Sleigh; or (b) Sliding down chimneys; or (c) Walking through back doors, many that have transitioned knew, and many that are alive, know that for them ‘Santa’ will never come,’ neither with Christmas gifts, nor medals from the ‘Queen.’ As far as ‘Gift Bearing’ was concerned, though many serving members of the ‘Police Service,’ have, and continue to work faithfully, the only ‘Medals’ some will see are those worn by Commissioner Atlee Rodney: Deputy Commissioner Albert Wade: and Members of the ‘PSC.’ However, an American singer has it that ‘Santa’ came through the ‘Back Door’ before the break of day.
The artist described and depicted him as the ‘Back Door Santa’ [1968: Clarence Carter]. As he may have done for others, that is most likely to be the ‘Santa’ to drop off a ‘QPM’ at their residence, if the gate was left open. Consequent upon recent developments, it now begs the logical question; On the question of ‘Credible Attestations’ on performance appraisal and eligibility of actively-serving Police officers, none more credible than that of an actively-serving ‘Commissioner of Police.’ Such attestations would have been based upon; (a) ‘Personal knowledge of prospective ‘Subordinate Awardees; and (b) Those that fall under his/her command.
FAITHFUL AND TRUE
Some persons came into the organization with humility, honesty and dignity. Diligently, professionally, satisfactorily and admirably, they have performed their duties. Conversely, some have either acted unprofessionally, or in a manner viewed as prejudicial to organizational discipline. Those remaining ‘Faithful and True,’ will have seen several of their colleagues prostituting upon the ‘Police Service.’ Likened to tethered animals, those that remained will have seen many of their colleagues leaving to make hay where the sun was seen as shining brighter. Then for reasons of professional misconduct or conduct bordering criminality, some would have been given ‘Coercive Options’ to quit.
PEACEFULLY AND DISGRACEFULLY
Organizationally, there were some things that were better dealt with internally. To those so coerced, this necessarily meant; (i) ‘Tendering resignations; or (ii) Apply for ‘Voluntary Retirement.’ They would have left ‘Peacefully.’ Such is provided for in the law. Those that were alleged to have exhibited conduct deemed to have offended honesty left under dark clouds of suspicion. Those that were seen not fitting the ‘Vision of the Organization’ or likely to have brought discredit to the ‘Police Service.’ had left ‘Disgracefully.’ There were caveats for resisting and remaining. Dependent upon the gravity of the misconduct, ‘Internal/External Caveats’ were made sufficiently clear to offending officers.
TESTAMENT OF TRUTHS
The ‘Police Disciplinary Code,’ so provides. Administratively, offending officers were informed of being subjected to; (a) ‘Internal organizational discipline; or (b) External criminal prosecutions.’ Many had taken one of the first two options. Some offenders were to be considered very lucky. Some were appointed constitutional positions on some national Commissions. Those that were given no options, had faced criminal prosecutions and incarcerated at the penitentiary. These provide ‘Testament of Truths.’ These have been among the professional and unprofessional experiences within most disciplined organizations.
Now, if there were ever three ‘Retirees’ from the ‘Polices Service’ that have met the ‘King’s Criteria’ for award of the ‘King’s Police Medal (KPM,’ then it shall have been: (i) ‘Inspector Ashton Lewis: (ii) Corporal Austin Otto; and (iii) Corporal Daniel Charles.’ Just after the ‘Sir George H. Walter KCN-led administration’ became administrators of ‘Public Affairs,’ dissatisfied and irate citizens became arsonists. Th e target had been the ‘Sugar Industry.’ Night after night, the desolate ‘Diamond Estate Sugar Cane Plantation,’ saw the night sky glowed from reapable sugarcanes. By their patriotism and devotion to duty, these officers, under cover of darkness showed unprecedented ‘Acts of Courage’ by positioning themselves in the fields . These officers, ‘Risking their Lives,’ setting up ambush within the ‘Sugar Belt.’
The primary objective was the apprehension of persons determined to destroy the ‘Sugar Industry.’ Then one night as they have been doing in other areas, they secluded themselves and concealed a ‘Blue Bedford Truck’ at an area deep into the ‘Diamond Estate Sugar Cane Plantation.’ They lay quietly in ambush. That which may have been audible to the ears were the nocturnal sounds and that of the blood-sucking mosquitoes pesteringly buzzing around. At any given moment, ‘The Ambushers’ expected to hear human movements within the immediate vicinity. They anticipated that the arsonists will advance toward them. The silence was disturbed by a sudden inferno. There was raging fire heading toward them and with no place to run, they knew they were doomed.
However, with presence of mind and courage the driver, ‘Corporal Daniel Charles,’ instinctively decided that there was only one way out of the inferno, was the one way he had entered with the truck. Though the roadway had been completely obscured, with his colleagues aboard, he sped through the fire. Heat intensity was said to have caused the ‘Fuel Tank’ to be ignited, thus it burst into more flames. Partially trapped in the cab of the truck, the trio sustained multiple burns about their bodies. The most severely injured was ‘Corporal Austin Otto’ . He is currently resident at Willikies. He was left with visible and ‘Irremovable Scars’ that constantly reminds him of how they may have been ‘Patriotically Naive.’ Inspector Ashton Lewis migrated to the United Kingdom, but was said to be presently residing in the ‘United States.’ The courageous driver, ‘Corporal Daniel Charles’ has since been transitioned to another place.
If there was one notable act that epitomizes ‘Courage,’ then it must be one performed by him as a ‘Police Constable.’ Some twenty-five years ago, assigned and deployed for escort duties with one of the nation’s indigenous Banks, he was aware of the ‘Risk and Danger’ involved. He knew that such assignment necessitated alertness and good ‘Powers of Observation.’ These were employed when ‘an Allan Dowdy-led armed band of robbers,’ daringly attempted to relieve the ‘Antigua Commercial Bank (ACB)’ personnel of hundreds of thousands of local and foreign currencies.
RAPIDITY OF GUNFIRE
Conscious of that which he was up against, using his wit, skill and courage, he successfully repelled the brazen highway robbery attack. The thwarted hoist were monies intended to facilitate banking transactions by international travelers to the ‘VC Bird International Airport (VCBIA). Sensing imminent danger and with presence of mind, the Bank’s assigned-driver drove at a speed safe and sufficient to evade the hotly-pursued armed robbers. Composed and alert for such eventuality, being driven at high speed, the escort officer had reportedly peppered the pursuing vehicle with rapidity of gunfire. Shattered glass was left strewn across the then ‘Coolidge’ public road, now ‘Sir George Walter Highway’ .
ACTS OF COURAGE
It has been the widely held view that ‘Governors General’ need no advice on that which is the call for ‘Commissioners of Police.’ Neither, shall they be told that which is not necessarily the call for the political directorate. Though not necessarily so, but for official purposes, only the actively serving ‘Commissioner of Police’ shall speak to ‘Acts of Courage,’ performed by Police Personnel, ‘Dead or Alive.’ A ‘Governor General’ shall not only know that difficulties may come against the ‘Backdrop’ of several Police officers; (a) ‘Deceased: (b) Alive and retired: and (c) Alive and currently serving within the Police Service,’ but also the history behind the various ‘Acts of Courage.’ The first to be mentioned was the tragedy that occurred while Police Constable Snagg reportedly got entangled by submerged marine ropes as he dived in a futile attempt to clear the propeller of the then lone ‘Coastguard Vessel-Liberta’ of the ‘Police Marine Unit’ [1990’s].
ACT OF FAITH
There were two particular officers that shall not be forgotten. Their names are; (i) ‘Police Constable Wentworth Darroux; and (ii) Assistant Superintendent Dale Mercury.’ The latter, currently the ‘Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to the ‘Governor General,’ by the ‘Act of Faith,’ saw a ‘Protective Angel’ looking down over him. Both officers responded to a robbery report. This was then in progress at the ‘Cassada Garden’s Kennedy Enterprise (Ken’s Club).’ The ‘Constable,’ moving to take up a secure position was shot dead at close range. The latter narrowly escaped serious gunshot injuries, or possible death. He lived to tell tales of the deadly encounter with two armed robbers. The irony of it all, was that on the night ‘When Tragedy Struck,’ the ‘Shift’s Sergeant’ had been currently-serving ‘Commissioner of Police, Atlee Rodney QPM.’
More recently, has been the tragic death of ‘Corporal of Police, Clifton Common.’ It was even more ironical that a suspected mentally-deranged youth he had safely escorted to the ‘St. John’s Police Station’ would be the one to have brought about his ‘Untimely Demise.’ Securely placed into one of the ‘Police Detention Cells,’ a subsequent visit to ensure that he was alive and well, saw tragedy struck. In an unprovoked sudden violent rage, the unsuspecting Corporal was reportedly knocked to the floor. In a state of unconsciousness, blows were reportedly rained down upon his almost lifeless body. By the time other officers arrived to render assistance, his life had been completely snuffed out [February 21, 2021].
The other ‘Near Tragedies’ were; (i) ‘…Then Corporal Novell Gore. Luckily, he was left nursing a gunshot wound to the arm: (ii) …Corporal Richard Nelson, left wheel-chaired as he was maimed from the waistline to his feet: while (iii) …Inspector Kelvin Fredericks was left with two steel-ribs.’ These officers, then responding to a ‘Threatening Language Report,’ was unexpectedly greeted with a hail of bullets, as they arrived at the West Bus Station. The shooter, a ‘Mad Texas Gunman, Gary Martin’ [June 18, 1972]. Except for ‘Corporal Richard Nelson’ who has since transitioned to another place, the other two survivors, though descended into oblivion, remains very much alive to speak of their painful experiences.
COURAGEOUS AND DEVOTED
The list is inexhausted. There were the other ‘Courageous and Devoted’ personnel. These included: (i) ‘Police Constable Wendell Audain.’ Responding to a rapist attack on a female resident in the Grays/Green Community, a gunshot injury left him hopping on one foot, then hobbling around on crutches: (ii) Police Constable Dennis Warner.’ In the most vicious way, he was attacked and left warded at the then Holberton Hospital. He was seriously wounded on the left side of his face and chest by a ‘knife-wielding robber’ [ANU Observer: June 11, 1998]: (iii) Police Constable Trevor John, who was also viciously attacked and wounded on the hand. That limb was left in a partial state of paralysis. He had responded to a ‘Domestic Report’ .
Then there was the ‘Courageous Act’ of then; (iv) Police Constable ‘David Cockburn’ (now Senior Sergeant). Deployed on duty at ‘Heritage Quay,’ he reportedly observed an elderly motorist accidentally drove his motor vehicle into the sea at the ‘Jolly Roger Pier.’ Responsively, he jumped into the sea to rescue the victim. Incidentally, it appeared he had suffered a ‘Massive Heart Attack.’ Within seconds, his lifeless body was reportedly fished from the water’ . This will have been the same year in which some members on the ‘Police Service Commission (PSC), would have retired from the ‘Police Service.’
COURAGEOUS CRIME FIGHTERS
Additionally, there was also the painful experience of; (v) ‘Corporal Rohan ‘Roti’ Richardson.’ Responding to a ‘Burglary Report’ at Winthorpes, and attempting to apprehend a suspect, the knife-wielding burglary-suspect, resisted and inflicted a vicious slash upon his hand.’ Then there were the experiences of two ‘Courageous Crime Fighters.’ They were (iv & v) ‘Assistant Commissioner of Police Nuffield Burnette; and Assistant Commissioner of Police Clayton Davis.’ Both have now been retired from the ‘Police Service’ . Though not then considered, both are as eligible to be considered for the ‘King’s Police Medal (KPM)’ for ‘Meritorious Service,’ as those that have been recently awarded the ‘Queen’s Police Medal (QPM)’ [ABS: January 5 &10, 2023].
Both criminal investigators have shown ‘Extraordinary Courage’ in taking the fight to the criminals. Instructively, the latter saw his residence ‘fire-bombed.’ The attack necessitated requiring a ‘Dusk-to- Dawn’ armed security protection. They pursued the criminal elements unrelentingly, until their retirement from the Police Service] February 3, 2018]. Clearly, if a ‘Governor General and a Commissioner of Police’ speak to ‘Eligibility’ for the ‘Queen’s Police Medal (QPM)’ and diligently ascertains the Police officers that meet the ‘Queen’s Criteria’ of: (a) ‘Act of Courage; and (b) Meritorious Service,’ then the ‘Queen’s Representative’ might be ‘Conscientiously Impelled’ to ask himself; ‘Lord, what have I not done right to ‘Her Majesty’s loyal and faithful subjects?’
In more recent times, the deeply ‘committed and competent; faithful and loyal personnel were often the ones given reasons to feel victimized and made to fight against institutionalized ‘Discriminatory Practices.’ These were either often compounded by nepotism or cronyism. When ‘Corporal Greg Grell’ reportedly took a dive into the sea, it was not just ‘an Act of Courage,’ but one deliberately and specifically taken to rescue a potential drowning man. The victim, ‘Captain José Gillis 80’ was rescued from a depth of water estimated at between ‘10 to 15 feet.’ The Corporal knew not what object then submerged beneath the murky water at the ‘Shell Beach Marina.’ That appeared to have been the least of concerns for his own safety.
PERILS OF THE SEA
Freak accidents have always brought inescapable difficulties to ‘non-swimmers.’ Seemingly, his one difficulty was an inability to swim. They were almost always exposed to the ‘Perils of the Sea.’ Corporal Greg Grell had, in fact, averted unexpected sorrow and grief. Determined to save the elderly man that lacked skills in swimming, his quick response and timely intervention averted tragedy. Interestingly, research has revealed that the rescued elderly man, previously held the position of ‘International Maritime Consultant with the ‘Antigua Department of Marine Services (ADOMS) [1996-2012]. Instructively, he was a licensed Mariner in the ‘Merchant Shipping’ field for some fifty years. He was ‘Deputy Director and Registrar of Ships and Marine Surveyor.’
CLUTCHES OF DEATH
Responding to the frantic voice and desperate call of an unidentified female, as his official duties then dictated, he felt more than an obligated duty to risk his own life. At a fleeting glance, he had reportedly seen a man’s head in partially submerged motor vehicle. It was reported to have hitched to the rear an already submerged trailer. The dangerous plunge had not only rescued a drowning from the ‘Clutches of Death,’ but also from a watery grave. The ‘Act of Courageous,’ had provoked positive social and mainstream media remarks. A commenter, writing under the name ‘Tracy Thomas’ states; ‘You gave protection and serve renewed meaning’ [ANU: October 14, 2019].
LETTER OF COMMENDATION
The rescued man, reportedly grabbed and held onto his rescuer much tighter than a wrestler. He knew what obtains on earth and much preferred to have people singing around his grave than to imagine fish curiously swimming around his ears. Clearly, having lived for at four scores, he had no desire to go under on earth, nor beneath the sea. Th e ‘Act of Courage’ and media glorified sentiments appeared to have compelled ‘Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney QPM’ to commit his thoughts to writing. In a ‘Letter of Commendation,’ the contents partially states; (i) ‘The act of heroism and selflessness which you exhibited during that life-threatening encounter, now label you a ‘Modern-Day Superhero.’
ACT OF COURAGE
The Police administration extends gratitude; (iii) You sprang into action and went into the water and rescued ‘Mr. Gillis’ who was trapped in the vehicle; (iv) You have earned greater respect among the citizenry; and (v) The ‘Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda, salutes you’ [HQ/C-58/19: December 17, 2019]. Even as honors continue to be bestowed, still a faithful serving member, ‘Corporal Greg Grell,’ has never taken umbrage over the non-recognition of the noteworthy ‘Act of Courage.’ When he appeared not to have been considered for the ‘Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) for the ‘Act of Courage,’ through this medium, ‘Buckingham Palace’ hastened to inform that ‘Her Majesty’ may have unwittingly acted upon misrepresented, distorted, hidden or withheld ‘Facts.’
COMMUNIQUE FROM HER MAJESTY
The ‘Royal Communique’ reads; ‘Dear Corporal Grell, writing in my personal capacity, Her Majesty expresses grave displeasure over the omission of your name from recommendation of your good yourself for approval of the ‘QPM.’ Her Majesty takes no blame for, nor delight in the bestowal of the ‘QPM’ to non-serving members of the ‘Police Service.’ Her Majesty, not only viewed the omission of your name as gross administrative neglect, but also one of grievous organizational betrayal of the actively-serving members.
DUTIFULLY AND TRUTHFULLY
Her Majesty expected that those superior to you to have ‘Dutifully and Truthfully’ submitted only the names so eligible for consideration. With deep humility, ‘Her Majesty’ apologizes for any discomfiture you may have experienced. It is to be understood that ‘Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II’ not only prides ‘Herself’ in the Monarchy, but also considers the highest attributes it represents. These include; (a) ‘Integrity: (b) Equality; (c) Justice for all loyal subjects; and most importantly, (f) Love of humanity.’ Your Majesty gives it clearly to be further understood that only ‘Acts of Almighty God,’ may naturally descend upon those that have shown unwavering allegiance. ER: Buckingham Palace’ [1953 -2022].
It now pleases ‘Her Majesty’ to extend ‘Greetings,’ as well as ‘Assurances’ that although some disloyal subjects shall suffer perilous consequences for treasonous and treacherous conduct, the loyal subjects shall fear no ‘Monarchial Perils.’ Through this further communique, ‘Her Majesty’ wishes to ‘Apologize’ to those fittingly deserving of her prestigious and coveted ‘Queen’s Police Medal (QPM),’yet, had found no favor. Your acts of exceptional courage and skill, and at the cost of lives, shall be accorded the ‘King’s’ consideration. The currently serving members of the ‘Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda’ shall not only be recognized, but also honored. There shall also be opportunities for advancement on the constitutional criteria. These are; (a) ‘Merit; and (b) Ability: and (c) Integrity’ [CO: 1981: Founding Constitutional Principle: ‘B’]. Her Majesty, urges all concerned with making recommendations to familiarize themselves with these, as the ‘Guiding Principles.’ ***
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Lol, I didn’t see the author’s name at the top but skimming through, I could safely assume that this is the work of Mr. Pompey. Sure enough, my assumptions were spot on. Respectfully, why does this God gentleman insist on writing these epistles and losing his audience? I am unwilling to even commence reading any of it as I am quite certain that my attention span will not allow me to complete it.
Well confession is good for the soul. And if you are saying that about yourself who are we to doubt you.
Dave Ray’s confession “I am quite certain that my attention span will not allow.”
Ps. The author’s name is written in bold at the top of the article.
When Pompey bored Pompey writes a few scriptures on ANR…..Awwwww bless him 🙂
BIGOTRY: …STUPIDITY: OR …IDIOCY?: …KNOWLEDGE: …MOVE ON
When ‘Pompey’ sees a comment as this one, he simply says: ‘…A mind warped by ‘…Bigotry: …Stupidity: and …Idiocy,’ is more dangerous than that which he/she sees as ‘…Boredom.’
A ‘…Monkey’ recently said the same thing about ‘…Pompey’s Writing.’
Could not say a darn thing about ‘…POMPEY’S KNOWLEDGE.’
See what you can glean from that, and simply ‘…Move ON.’
LOL HAHA!!! u sure are something…sorry to offend u Pompey was jus a bit of humor and yes we all know ur a very intelligent and respectable man ;)….I do read alot of your articles and you are quite informative I must say….You keep loading us with ur knowledge……Wishing u a blessed weekend Pompey
Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! “The Afrocentric Paradigm is a revolutionary shift in thinking proposed as a constructural adjustment to black dislocation, disorientation, decenteredness and lack of agency.” – Dr. Molefi Asante, Afrocentricity, The Theory of Social Change!
The Venerable RP Delivers Again!
Sir, as one who is not enarmoured with these National and Royal sobriquets why hasn’t the Honourable Ambassador Colin Murdoch received any commendations and bouquets for his Stellar Patriotic Work these long years from any GoAB!
“Sooner or Later The People get The Government They Deserve and Sooner or Later The Government get The People They Deserve.” – Frantz Fanon, The Wretched Of The Earth!
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