KINGSTON –– Corporal Judith Williams, who was shot and injured in a violent attack on Bray Street in Franklyn Town, Kingston 2, Thursday morning, has died.
Williams, 54, was attached to the Office of the Commissioner of Police.
Reports from the Corporate Communications Unit are that Corporal Williams was at a bus stop about 6:30 a.m. when she was attacked by two men armed with guns, who shot her multiple times before leaving the scene on a motorcycle.
She was taken to hospital where she underwent several surgeries, but later succumbed to her injuries.
Thursday’s brazen gun attack on the policewoman on Bray Street in the eastern Kingston community has once again brought into sharp focus the continued calls from the Jamaica Police Federation for buses to be assigned to take cops to and from work.
Constable Crystal Thomas was last July fatally shot while on her way home from work as she tried to intervene in a robbery on the bus on which she was travelling on Spanish Town Road in Kingston.
However, almost a year since that incident the police still have not been assigned the buses for which the federation has been appealing.
Speaking with the Observer, head of the federation, Sergeant Raymond Wilson stressed that the police have never let up on the call for a transportation system.
“We have never left it alone. We were told that these matters are being looked into. It hasn’t yet materialized. We weren’t waiting for another incident. It’s a matter that the federation consistently talks about. I’m amazed that such a critically important matter is not yet given the attention [despite] the risk we are taking. We don’t intend to give up on this pursuit,” he stated.
He lamented that since 2006 the issue has been put forward in every salary negotiation with the Government, but that this has amounted to nothing more than promises.
Wilson said that the former national security minister had mentioned publicly that a vehicle would be provided by the end of the calendar year. He also said that when the new Administration came into office in February, the federation had raised the burning issue with the new minister, Robert Montague, and minister with responsibility for the public service, Rudyard Spencer.
“We have never gotten a favourable response except for a promise. We are certainly not pleased with the fact that our officers continue to be exposed [but] we don’t want for this to be misconstrued. We are not afraid, we understand the type of job that we have. We have made a commitment and we will not renege, we will be buffers between the public and the hoodlums who wreak havoc on citizens and turn guns on our officers too. But it doesn’t mean that we are not to be protected,” he insisted.
Wilson reiterated that the police simply wanted the bus system that was in place for them in 2005, and which was discontinued because the units fell into disrepair, to be reinstated.
“Remember, too, that some of our officers work in administration [but] to the eyes of those on the street a police is a police and therefore the same imminent danger that those who are in operational duty face, it is the same danger that every police face,” he said, pointing out that various other employees of different Government departments are accorded transportation services, sometimes via private contractors.
Meanwhile, Wilson said the police were not yet fully aware of the circumstances of the shooting Thursday but that it was certain that if the policewoman was not forced to stand at a bus stop to get to work the incident may not have happened.
“We are really saddened by this unfortunate event. Her attackers intended to kill her . . . we are also asking persons who know or might have seen something to provide information to the investigators,” he urged.