“…paid the ultimate price doing what he loved to do” – Police Commissioner
By Utamu Belle
Tributes poured on Thursday at the funeral of Police Sergeant 16934 Leonard LaRose, who was stabbed to death last week during an attempt to arrest a rape suspect at Matthews Ridge, Region 1 (Barima-Waini). The home-going ceremony for the Sergeant was marked by a very sombre atmosphere at the Mackenzie Sports Club (MSC) Ground in Linden.
Grieving family and associates of the slain Officer, also a former Lindener gathered to provide comfort to each other in their time of bereavement. Sergeant LaRose was given military honours by the Guyana Police Force.
Commissioner of Police Seelall Persaud, E Division (Linden/Kwakwani) Commander Calvin Brutus and Regional Chairman Renis Morian also paid their respects.
In delivering Sergeant LaRose’s eulogy, older brother Ivor Thom said he was remarkable in many ways, and has touched the lives of many people, to whom he had dedicated his life’s service. He described him as a family man, devoted husband, father, brother and a friend to many, one who could always be counted on for advice.
“…he was ready, steadfast, willing… I know that you would miss the friendship that Leonard brought into your lives. I’m sure you would remember him in your own special way. He lived a principled life… we can only imagine how much he would have accomplished were it not for that terrible tragedy”, he said.
In his tribute Commissioner of Police Persaud extended sympathy to the wife, relatives and friends of the deceased, on behalf of the Guyana Police Force. Persaud related that along with the family, the GPF also shared in the loss of LaRose.
He added that the incident is a stark reminder of the plight of thousands of officers around the world who put their lives at risk on a daily basis in order to protect their communities. He related that LaRose joined the GPF in September 1995 as a direct intake to the Presidential Guards.
Persaud said his desire to serve saw him serving at several Police stations and attending several training programmes where he displayed a high level of competency. This, he noted, saw LaRose being promoted to Corporal in 2009 and Sergeant in 2014.
“Like many of us, policing was his calling. During his stay he would have displayed that he was a very courageous individual, a very good public servant and a very dedicated Policeman. He also would have paid the ultimate price doing something that he loved to do to protect members of the community that he served… I’m sure that among us and among those of you here he will be missed. He’s a good man and May God bless his soul”, the Commissioner of Police said in his tribute.
Friends and family of the deceased also mentioned similar sentiments as they wept openly.
Sergeant LaRose is survived by his wife and children.