Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Why the Police Funeral Attracted a Large Crowd. Top Cop Explains

The Royal Bahamas Police Force said as it prepares to host other funerals for its colleagues, the crowd will not exceed the required number as stipulated in the emergency  order.

This comes after the police force received backlash as it held a graveside funeral on Thursday for a fallen colleague, where a large crowd gathered.

The funeral was live streamed on the Royal Bahamas Police Force Facebook page and showed more than 10 people in attendance. Minister of Social Services Frankie Campbell was among the crowd.

Dedicated police officer “deserved” funeral service
The funeral service for a woman police Picture credit: RBPF

Why was more than 10 people at the police funeral?

Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle said three seperate funerals were held at the same time at the grave site and bystanders became interested in the fanfare of the police funeral held for the deceased police woman, Corporal Portia Lewis-Bain.

Rolle told reporters it would have been insentivie to ask the bystanders to leave. However, going forward, he said the police force will ensure it does not happen again.

Rolle said his organisation has been in talks with families to ensure adherence.

“When you arrive at the cemetery and you meet a large crowd and you’re in the ceremony, do you stop and run the people out? That is the difficulty for us,” he said.

Why was Social Services Minister Frankie Campbell at the funeral?

Campbell said he was not attending in his official capacity as a cabinet minister, but rather as a friend of the deceased when he served as a police officer.

Campbell said he was not aware that the police force would exceed the stipulated number. Neither was he aware that the Office of the Prime Minister did not give the approval for the funeral to exceed more than 10 people.

“It was a semi-military funeral, so I felt satisfied that they would do all the due diligence,” Campbell said.

Police advisory on funeral services

The police wish to remind the public that according to Emergency Order 31, 40 and schedule 1, funeral services are not permitted in churches on the island of New Providence. Funerals may only be held at the graveside.

Funeral services in churches are only permitted on Chubb Cay, Harbor Island, Long Cay, Long Island, Ragged Island, Rum Cay, Spanish Wells and San Salvador.

The police ask all concerned religious leaders, morticians and family to comply with these orders. Police are appealing to members of the public, who may have information that can assist with our investigations into these incidents and other criminal matters, to contact the Criminal Investigation Department at 502-9991/2, Crime stoppers at 328-TIPS (8477) or the nearest police station.

Featured Image: RBPF FB

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