A police sergeant today recounted harrowing details at the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry of his teams’ encounter with gunmen.
One day before the start of the May 2010 operation.
Sergeant Robert Clarke told the Enquiry, that gunmen had the upper hand over the force, as they had more men, guns and bullets.
He recalled a number of incidents, in which police personnel were subjected to intense gunfire.
Sergeant Clarke was serving at the Half Way Tree Police Station at the time of the operation.
He was assigned to the Operations Support Unit, responsible for supporting other police personnel throughout the St. Andrew Central division, whenever they needed assistance.
He told the Enquiry, that on one occasion, when the police needed to go back on patrol duties, they expressed fear as gunmen had outnumbered them in terms of gun and bullets.
He testified that in one incident, gunmen cornered police personnel — at the junction of Calabar Avenue and Slip Pen Road in West Kingston.
Sergeant Clarke said while his colleagues were at the junction, gunmen left them exposed — as they took away their service vehicle.
He said one female officer passed out.
Sergeant Clarke also testified of another incident on Mountain View Avenue in the eastern end of the city. In that incident gunmen killed two police officers and seriously injured six others.
He said when the Operations Unit visited the location they saw their colleagues in tears.
Sergeant Clarke said following the operations, all police personnel were traumatized.
He said they were traumatized because the peace keeping police force experienced an all out war that they weren’t trained for.