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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

This Police Illness is nothing New: Royal Gazette Article By Stephen Breen Written in 2000

Crushing Fools Blog is celebrating one hundred (100) article and counting.

One in five overseas officers who lived in Henderson Barracks in the late 1950s and early 1960s and who stayed on the Island, either died of cancer or were battling against the disease, a local survey found in 1998.

Around 15 were either dead or diagnosed as having the disease in 1998, but the figure is now thought to be nearer 20.

The unexplained cluster includes at least eight ex-officers who are known to have died of the disease.

Other ex-Policemen who left the Island for Canada and the United Kingdom after living in the barracks have also died of cancer.

After the story broke in the Mid-Ocean News in 1998, the Daily Telegraph in London reported there were fears that 130 officers who did a three-year tour in Bermuda may have contracted cancer but did not realise it.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Cann launched an inquiry into the deaths in 1998, but so far no details of the investigation have been released. At the time, Dr. Cann said an overseas expert would need to be brought in to look at the information collected.

Many of the officers contracted cancer of the oesophagus. Statistics from the United Kingdom show the likelihood of contracting the disease is one in 7,000.

A Police spokeswomen said yesterday: "The matter is in the hands of the Health Department''.

Dr. Cann was off the Island yesterday, and Dr. Brenda Davidson, who was supervising the investigation, was on leave.

A Department spokeswoman said no one else would be able to comment. Former Police officer Neville Spalding, who has intenstinal cancer and had 80 percent of his stomach taken out, said he had been visited by Dr. Davidson in connection with the cancer cluster.

"I believe she and (chief Medical Officer Dr. John Cann) care, but they are Government employees and I don't know how far they want them to take this.

Cancer mystery deepens "I don't know if they really want to do this or not.

"Brenda did tell me there is nothing conclusive and it probably doesn't point anywhere because there is such a broad spectrum of illness.

"They probably need an epidemiologist or a good insurance inspector to find out what happened.'' Friends and former colleagues yesterday paid tribute to 57-year-old Mr.

Instone. Cable and Wireless general manager Eddie Saints said: "John did recognise that a group of former Police officers who stayed at the barracks had got cancer and he took his health very seriously.

"He said he was lucky he was as healthy as he was and he was very conscious of it.

"He was highly regarded within the Cable and Wireless family and I have recieved messages of condolence from around the Caribbean. He touched a lot of people, and we just wish we could have done more for him.'' Sadly missed: John Instone, the latest former Bermuda Policeman to die from cancer.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Search for Answer and solution: The Andrew Thomas Campaigne

When I posted the last article on this blog, on 3rd of January 2010; I ended that article with a promise, to venture on a quest, to search for answer to ensure that Andrew Thomas' sudden, untimely and tragic death will not be in vane and to prevent others from suffering a similar fate. I take on this assignment because of the tragic nature of the problem that confronts the members of the Bermuda Police Service. One will ask, why the Bermuda Police Service immidiately declared that fowl play was not suspected in Andrew Thomas' death, he being a young healthy male; and even before a postmortem was preformed and such report was available. Do they know something that the average citizen do not know.

Bermuda is a small island with a history and a tradition of keeping many dirty secrets, secrets that are well guarded; secrets that certain people will go to extreme Length to protect all in an effort to maintain the status quo.

Something is terrible wrong, for it is highly unlikely and surely out of the normal for such institution to experience so many unexplained illness and death without something being extremely wrong. Although I cannot say for sure, what is responsible for high volume of unexplained illnesses and sudden passive (death outside the line of duty by a serving officer) death among police personnel of the Bermuda Police Service; there are many suspected conditions that may account fot these.

I know that many of my former colleagues are wondering what form this campaign is going to take. Unfortunately, I cannot publicly discuss my intended stragady with anyone at this time; however, I will bring to the attention of anyone who has a personal or professional interest in this matter; the actions taken and the results such action yield if any. For now, I have embarked on a three (3) phase campaign, which I hope to develop and be altered depends of the results the action yields.

I will like to remind all, that I have only one thing of value, and that is: my words. I have never backed out on my words. If I say that I am going to do a particular thing, You can be guarantee, that against all odds and against adverse circumstances I will ensure that I live up to my words.

So' be assure, that I am going to get to the bottom of the concerns that have been a worry for the serving members of the Bermuda Police Service, the friends and family of serving officers who have been affected, those who have not yet been affected.

To Commissioner Da Silva, This is not an attempt to undermine your commissionership as some are hoping I would use this blog to do. Let me assure you that I am of the opinion that you deserves every opportunity to be the best commissioner you can be. for several reason which I will not go into. Let it be known, the author of this blog Mr. Allan H. F Palmer has vow to support your commissionership, and as a result I will refrain from publishing any information or to make any public declaration on this blog that can affect commissioner Dasilva's ability to effectively manage the Bermuda Police Service and get a grip on crime.

I may have reason to call upon pass and serving members of the Bermuda Police Service to take certain action to aid in obtaining the answers and action in a timely manner. So until your participation is required follow this blog and keep the discussion alive.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Should Andrew Thomas' Death Be In Vane?

When I learn of the death of another member of the Bermuda Police Service, I was dishearten, for I know it was possible that I may have worked with that person. When I learnt that the person who met their sudden demised was Andrew Thomas, I searched the corridors of my mind to understand who Andrew Thomas was; however, no matter how hard I tried I could not match a face to the name.

Without bothering to make any inquiries, I concluded I did not know Andrew Thomas. Even after I wrote the article titled Three More BPS Police Officer Die In 2009.. What Is Responsible For The High Passive Mortality Rate In The Bermuda Police Service? something about Andrew Thomas worried me immensely; unfortunately, I just could not put my finger on it. However, on Saturday 2nd January 2010, I was aroused from my sleep with a picture in my head. A picture of Andrew Thomas was washed from the halls of my memory into my conscious. I put that picture out of my head and went back to bed, for Andrew was a young healthy male, who was one year my junior; how was it possible for him to drop dead without any warning. Once again I was awoken and it was the same scene that was responsible for my sleeplessness.

Thanks for modern technology I got onto my computer and I opened my face book page as well as my MSN page to look for anyone who could have provided the information I was looking for. Fortunately I saw Miss Simons on line and I made my inquiries. Unfortunately and to my dismay, I was informed that my friend Andrew Thomas was the one who died. Denial can do that to a person. Because of my relationship with Andrew I presumable block his picture from my mind and thus failed to make the connection; associating the name with the face.

Like each of us Andrew Thomas was not perfect but from my experience with this young man I can conclude that Andrew Thomas was a decent and a humble man. You may ask how I can conclude that. It is said that first impression means a lot, but when a person first impression, becomes a reoccurring theme in your experience with them, then you know that person is genuine.

In order for you to understand the relationship I built with Andrew Thomas, you will have to understand my experience with him. When I left My home land to work in Bermuda, I Left all I knew behind (Family, friends, acquaintances, familiar faces, places practice and customs) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, for a place I knew nothing about except for the little I read about the people and country. I had a hard time adjusting, this along with some problem that was created for me by Ralph Gonsalves’ avenging angel: Randolph (Randy) Liverpool (who were ensuring that I pay for foiling many of Ralph Gonsalves’ ploy to discredit some good people and institution in St. Vincent) were responsible for the mild bout with depression I experienced. This was the frame of mind I was in when I met Andrew.

I can remember about four or so years ago, while assigned to the Hamilton Police Station and attached to C-watch, the same watch Andrew was attached to also but he work at the Somerset Police Station. On this particular date, the Somerset Police Station were short staffed, and they needed help. On this occasion I was assigned to work at the Somerset Police Station and my partner for that evening was Police Constable Andrew Thomas.

After a brief introduction, Thomas used the experience he gained in dealing with foreign police officers in such predicament to put me at ease. He inquired of how I was dealing with my new environment and he offered some suggestion that may help me through my term in the Bermuda Police Service. Thomas took the opportunity to gave me a brief of the dos and the don’ts, the who is and the who is not, vital information that was design to help me adjust to life in Bermuda and in the Bermuda Police Service. We made a stop at Ice Queen and he offered to buy me dinner. Thomas drove for hours teaching me Bermuda’s Western Police District. We hit the trouble spot, the scenic site and the hangout location. After which we drove to his home; he invited me into his home and offered me of the abundance of his pantry. This was the beginning of my friendship with Andrew. It was always a pleasure to meet up with Andrew, for he always had a smile on his face, concern for my well being and a jovial conversation.

The quality of a person and the value of their friendship is not measure by the quality of the fun you had in the good times; however, the quality of a person and the value of their friendship is measured by the impact that person has on you in your time of need and the support they provided to you, in your time of distress.

Andrew was one who many people called upon when they need a friend; he always had a listening ear, a supportive view, words of wisdom and or an honest reply to offer.

According to the report Andrew die suddenly and to date there is no plausible medical explanation for his death. It will be interesting if Andrew traveled out of Bermuda recently. If he did, or even if he did not this reminds me of another young police officer’s sudden, unexplained and traumatic death. I speak of the death of no one but Paul Marsden: the events are the same.

Bermuda, member of the Bermuda Police Service, friends and family of Andrew Thomas, friends and relatives of the countless other who had their love ones became unexplainable ill or die suddenly and unexplainable: are you going to allow Andrew Thomas’ death, to become just another statistic; another dot or number on a page, a means of calculating mortality rate?

Andrew Thomas was there for me in my time of need and I owe it to his family, his memory and his legacy to ensure that Andrews’ death, like the hundreds of other officers who have die suddenly and/or who had undergone unexplained illness, to put pressure on the authorities to bring to the public and the serving men attention, the cause of such illnesses and or their deaths and if they don’t know what is responsible for the sudden and unexplained illness that lead to death in so many case. It is also a campaign for the relevant authorities to take the necessary steps to rectify the problems that is affecting the officers health. If the don't already know (which I have a sneaking suspicion they do) what the problem are, that they take the necessary steps to find out what is responsible for these occurrence. This article marks the beginning of my campaign for information and closer for my colleagues whom I knew and don’t know.

You know what the sad thing is? It is the fact that if any authority, be it police management, politician, or any other person with or in authority; who has information of what is killing or making members of the Bermuda Police Service sick; and that person or persons refuse to inform anyone who will be so exposed of the danger of such danger to life and health, and thus induced anyone to ignorantly work in an environment that can induced or cause their health to deteriorate or which may cause any such person who were expose to die may be guilty of of an offence; namely: murder or attempted murder; by reason of neglect.