KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, March 29, IWN — Retired Superintendent of Police Leroy Latchman, a former Superintendent of Prisons and ex-head of the Special Services Unit, died on Wednesday at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.
He was 71.
Susan Jackson-Abraham, one of Latchman’s daughters, told I-Witness News today — Friday — that her father, who was hypertensive and diabetic, had several complications, including kidney problems.
She remembered him as “very strict and military”.
“To sum it all up, he was very forthright,” she further said.
Latchman, who was a police officer for more than 30 years, spent the last years of his life confined to his home as a stroke restricted his movement.
St. Clair Leacock, an opposition legislator, who represents Central Kingstown, where Latchman lived at Kingstown Park, described him as “an outstanding fireman” who moved very quickly through the ranks of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.
“He was an outstanding policeman, both in special services work and the Fire Service as well and I know he had a stint as Superintendent of Prisons as well,” Leacock said on a New Democratic Party radio programme on Thursday.
In the January 2001, Latchman was stabbed at Her Majesty’s Prisons in Kingstown, reportedly by a prisoner.
In the days that followed, two inmates, one of whom allegedly had attacked Latchman, was killed, reportedly by other inmates.
Leacock said that outside of his police work, Latchman was also “a nationalist” who helped in fire fighting and supported cultural events.
“… he commanded a lot of respect,” said Leacock, who attained the rank of major in the Cadet Force.
“Like any of us, he had his own challenges in police work and in the prison service,” Leacock further said of Latchman, who was implicated in the shooting death of a civilian.
Leacock also said that Latchman was a “ a very good constituent/supporter, one who would call in on radio programmes and lend his contributions to the debate on important matters…
“I know his last years were very difficult years because he had very restricted movement since he had the stroke. But he is now gone to a better place.
“A good soldier, good policeman, good person, good father,” he further said.
“He was a good constituent and I know he will be very much missed by those who loved him an appreciated him.”
Latchman was, in his later years, a member of the Arnos Vale Church of the Nazarene, where he served as head of the local chapter of Nazarene Missions International.
He will be buried on Sunday, April 7, after a funeral service at the Arnos Vale Church of the Nazarene.