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Family says Manwaring reformed criminals: He was more than a police officer (with CNC3 video)
Sgt Hayden Manwaring was a counsellor more than a police officer, because he reformed many criminals. This was why his family never imagined he would one day die at the hands of a criminal. Even prisoners liked him, his sister Nadine Thomassian said yesterday. Speaking at the family’s home at George Village, Tableland, she described him as a unique cop who was always cautious about his safety.
“He never took chances and he was very particular about security, especially around his family, because of his job,” Thomassian said. She could not explain why Manwaring was not wearing a bulletproof vest on the day he was shot by a robber in San Fernando on Tuesday. Manwaring and his colleague, PC Nicholas Phillip, were shot when they responded to a report of robbery at Mom’s Diner on Cipero Street, San Fernando. Phillip has since been discharged from hospital.
Recalling the tragedy yesterday, Thomassian said when she heard her brother had been shot with his own gun she went straight to the hospital. Manwaring was undergoing emergency surgery at the San Fernando General Hospital. “We spent several hours waiting for news and afterwards the doctors told us that he was stable but very critical...The doctors advised us to go home—and just as we reached we got the call from the hospital that he had died,” Thomassian said.
She said Manwaring was always an athletic person and had attended St Stephen’s College. “He was into all kinds of sports and at one point he was also into boxing...Then he decided to sign up for the Police Service,” Thomassian said. She explained that Manwaring took his responsibilities seriously and never missed his court dates. “He would interact with the criminals and the prisoners because he wanted to genuinely help them...That was the kind of person he was,” she added.
She said Manwaring had applied to be an inspector and was working assiduously to achieve it. His cousin, Karen Ramdass, said he was always a helpful cop. “He was a counsellor more than a police officer because he would treat criminals nicely and try to reform them,” she said. “He was never the type to punish you....He always tried to make changes to develop you if you were leading a life of crime.”
She added that Manwaring was a “people person” and knew how to do his job. Manwaring’s widow Kim declined comment yesterday. His two children, Kaddeal, 16, and Kylah, eight, were kept indoors. Kim’s sister said she was resting and was too traumatised to face the media. Kaddeal attends Presentation College in San Fernando and is expected to write the CXC exams this year.
Minister of National Security Jack Warner, who visited the family yesterday, said the death would not go in vain. “The best I can do for Manwaring is to bring back law and order in this country,” he said. He vowed to build a maritime wall around the country’s borders to keep out illegal guns and drugs. Warner also said he will attend Manwaring’s funeral next week. It is expected to be held in Tableland on Tuesday or Wednesday.
The four suspects, aged 21 to 27, of Princes Town and Tableland, who were held after Manwaring was shot dead, remained in custody yesterday. They are expected to appear before identification parades. Police Commissioner Stephen Williams has commended both officers for their bravery and extended condolences to Manwaring’s family.
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