Acting Station Sergeant Elvis Grafton Foster had a passion for crime fighting. Wherever he served, Foster had left his mark and, at the age of 55, he was counting down his days to retirement.
“Sadly, he died before he could have retired,” his longtime friend Patrick Ward said Friday.
Foster died on October 25 from a heart attack; and Friday, family members, friends and former colleagues, including members of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, turned up in their numbers at the Abundant Life Assembly in Bank Hall, St Michael for a military funeral service in honour of the man they said was the consummate policeman.
The Ellerslie Secondary School old scholar joined the Force in 1980 and served in several districts, including Central Police Station, Belleplaine, District E, District B, Oistins and Black Rock.
He also worked at the Special Service Unit, the Human Resource Department and his last assignment was with the Administrative Services Division as Staff Officer to the Assistant Commissioner in charge of Administration.
“The Black Rock Station manager at the time . . . made it absolutely clear that because of those after-hours patrols in the station district by Sergeant Foster and his specially selected team, burglaries and robberies were significantly reduced.
“Further to that, other station managers throughout the territorial divisions confessed that Elvis Foster was of invaluable assistance to them in the robust monitoring of persons on curfew,” Acting Superintendent Margaret Stephens said in a tribute from the Royal Barbados Police Force.
Stephens said her former colleague was known for his immaculate deportment, sense of humour, and organizational, social and leadership skills.
Apart from duties as a senior police officer, the St Lucy-born Foster was an avid sportsman who played both hockey and cricket for the police sports team.
His partner of nine years Jacqueline Woods had told Barbados TODAY soon after his passing that Foster was the life of the party who had found it easy to hang out with friends.
“When he finished work, he and the fellas would just say, ‘let’s go to Q [the CBC programme Q in the Community] after work’, so they would hang out there for a while,” Wood said at the time.
She added then that Foster, who also loved to cook and to entertain, was already making big plans for the upcoming Christmas season. His idea was to put on a party for the entire apartment block in Lodge Hill, St Michael where he shared a home with Woods.
It was this ability to marry policing and social life so seamlessly, as well as the willingness to give of himself to the community that endeared people to him, longtime friend Ward told the mourners Friday.
“Having walked on the chequered pavement of life, he tried despite the imperfections and fallibilities that are the lot of man’s earthly existence, to live up to the tenets of true brotherly love, relief and truth as expounded in the Holy book,” Ward explained.
Foster was buried at Mount Pleasant Memorial Gardens in Pleasant Hall, St Peter.