Police Inspector Edgar Brown was having one of his normal days in June. He had picked up one of his daughters from school and was driving home to Montego Bay, St James, apparently looking forward to a relaxing evening with his family.
However, his routine was disrupted when he noticed an Atlas Security vehicle travelling at high speed behind him, and the subsequent events led to him being recognised last Thursday for honesty, having recovered over $40 million (about four hundred thousand US dollars), stolen during a robbery in Ocho Rios, and handing it over to be returned to its owners.
"I heard the screeching sound of a vehicle behind the private vehicle I was driving, and instantly my instincts told me something was wrong," Brown told the Sunday Observer.
"The vehicle. sped past me and I decided to give chase, but this was not before I called for support. I used my phone to call police control, but at the time no one answered. Despite the danger, I made the decision to follow the vehicle," Brown said.
As it turned out, the vehicle was taken by two gunmen who had shot dead Atlas security guard, 52-year-old Gilbert Davis of Port Maria, St Mary, during the robbery.
"While I was chasing the vehicle, two motorised policemen heard of my ordeal and joined in the chase," Brown said. "The vehicle, which by now was speeding past cars and swerving across the road, travelled for a few miles until it crashed into an embankment near the Bailey bridge in Steer Town."
The gunmen, he said, dashed out of the vehicle. They were chased by the other cops but apparently managed to escape. Brown, in the meantime, stopped to check if anyone else was inside the vehicle and to find out if they were hurt.
"Scores of onlookers and would-be looters started to come down on the vehicle," Brown said, adding that he had to stand his ground to keep the crowd at bay.
"When I saw all the persons coming down on the vehicle, some in an attempt to loot, I did not know what was in the vehicle, but I pleaded with the onlookers, telling them that a man was killed in the incident and it was very important to maintain the scene and not contaminate the evidence," Brown said.
His search of the vehicle yielded two bags, which he placed in his car and drove to a police station, where he handed them in. He said that it was during that trip that he found out that the bags contained the money - a whopping $45 million!
"Someone told me after the incident that while I was removing the bags from the vehicle. a group of strange men had arrived on the scene and were acting suspiciously. It was just the protection of God that kept me safe that day," said Brown, who worships at the St Ann's Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Last Thursday, 51-year-old Brown, who was named the Lasco Top Cop in 2001, was presented with an award and commended by both Prime Minister Bruce Golding and the minister of national security, Colonel Trevor MacMillan at the Annual Symposium of the Jamaica Constabulary Force Inspectors' Branch, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.
Sporting a broad smile, Inspector Brown received thunderous applause from his colleagues as he accepted the Inspectors' Branch Board Integrity Award.
"I have been criticised by persons in many circles about the decision I made, but I strongly believe that it was my strong conviction in God and my upbringing from my parents that made all the difference," said Brown, who also used the occasion to urge his colleagues to continue to uphold all that was right and decent.
Interesting that he includes an Ellen White quote to share why he did what he did.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/980