The Guyana Police Force’s Fallen Heroes Foundation distributed almost $900,000 on Friday as part of its continuous support to the families and children of law enforcers who died in the line of duty.
The funds were handed over to nine families during a simple ceremony at the Police Officers Mess, Eve Leary.
Accepting the funds on behalf of their respective families were Enola Pantlitz, Nehena Bollers, Rizpah Cosbert, Triola Elias, Abina La Rose, Adesia Johnson, Carleen Mickle, Neola Persaud and Roxanne Gilkes.
Pastor Raphael Massiah, President of the Foundation, said over the past two and half years the organisation has managed to raise significant sums that were utilised for the purpose of providing for the education and the welfare of the beneficiaries of the fallen heroes.
The funds donated by the Foundation are used to purchase uniforms and stationery, and pay for school fees, etc. In the past, a laptop was donated to a student preparing to sit the CSEC examination.
Massiah thanked the donors who have contributed from the inception, including President David Granger. The funds, he said, are given to the families based on the donations made by businesspersons and ranks, who each make a monthly contributions.
“We stand ready to assist the beneficiaries and this is not an easy task but it is a good thing for society because society is showing that it’s caring and developing opportunities to care for those who are less fortunate,” he said.
Meanwhile, Commissioner of Police Seelall Persaud, during his brief remarks, noted that the Foundation is independent of the force and therefore all of its members volunteer their services. “Their entire work is voluntary,” he said.
“We are not sure what will happen in the future but we would like to see that the number of children that they take care of doesn’t increase. But it is not guaranteed,” Persaud said, while welcoming contributions from the public.
The Foundation is a collaboration between the force and the Cops and Faith Community Network.
Among the families who received contributions were the wives of police Constable Sherwin Pantlitz and Sergeant Leonard La Rose.
Pantlitz was killed after he was hit by a stray bullet during the 2013 shootout at Middle Street, while La Rose was stabbed to death in 2016 while he and two other ranks were in the process of arresting a rape suspect at Matthews Ridge, Region One.