Superintendent Jemmott's wake may have been one of the lively parties the weekend had to offer, but it was far from the only over-crowded festivity. There were also wedding receptions, nightclubs masquerading as restaurants, and boats hosting parties under the guise of tours.
And, as a result, the commissioner of Police has, this evening, sent out a memo to inform commanders that they will now find themselves directly accountable for any breach of regulations that goes unpunished in their respective jurisdictions.
It's a move that comes as COMPOL Williams condemned a host of illegal weekend activities that violated said regulations and said that the department quote:" Has to do their part to reduce and maintain numbers at acceptable rates."
Williams notes, quote, "the numbers of positive COVID 19 case are slowly creeping up; it cannot be that we will have a nonchalant attitude to what is happening." So, the instruction to Commanders are to monitor all activities and to take appropriate action against any violations of COVID-19 protocols.
The Wake Was Lit - But Was It Lawful?
And while the funeral was heavy with sadness, the wake for Henry Jemmott was done in his spirit: celebratory and irrepressible. It was all that and more, but, by all accounts, it also broke every single pandemic protocolâ€¦an event, where, according to police commissioner Chester Williams, the police "failed to enforce" COVID regulations, despite the presence of multiple officers.
We asked about it at this morning's police press conference where the department's new Public Relations officer told us that, the decision to end those pre-funeral festivities was made by the Jemmott family in tandem with the OC commanding Dangriga just before the curfew hour.
Daniel Ortiz, Reporter
"Supposedly, the outpouring of support and affection for Mr. Jemmott was so widespread during the wake that there were concerns that it was getting overcrowded. There were suggestions that maybe Commissioner had to step in - or someone in police command had to step in to get the family or the organizers disperse it or cut it short?"
ASP Fitzroy Yearwood - Director of Communications, ComPol's Office
"Well, Daniel, as you know, on weekends we have a curfew time which is midnight. And some around midnight, I believe that's when the family decided that they had to bring it to an end, for the purpose of, yes, they were getting the love and support of relatives, but we also have to respect the curfew law. And, they called that shot, along with the Southern Regional Commander, who made a decision that it was time for them to end the celebration of the life of Superintendent Henry Jemmott."
Those attending the wake tell 7News that what really shut down the festivities was a downpour of rain that even the police had to find shelter from.