Blind cop rises

Police inspector recounts rocky road to rank

BY EVERARD OWEN
Observer writer

Monday, August 19, 2019

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WHEN Rohan Brown met in a motor vehicle accident in 1995, life as he knew it would change.

The injuries he sustained, at the time, were minor with occasional headaches.

A year post-accident, Brown began having trouble with his right eye. Doctors later confirmed that there had been bleeding on the inside, stemming from the accident.

“It was said to be as a result of trauma from the accident. Eventually, I was going to the optometrist locally for a while, and I was told that the blood will drain off by itself. It didn't,” the man said, during an interview with the Jamaica Observer North & East.

The trouble continued for years before Brown noticed a similar pattern with his left eye.

“In the early 2000s, the left eye started going the same route. I went to Cuba about six times. I did an operation once and they could not do anything much about the eyes as the retina in the right eye, by then, had been completely damaged, and the retina in the left eye started to fold, and they had no way of reopening it. After a while I became fully blind,” he said.

Brown lost his job as a result and became heavily dependent on the Jamaica Society for the Blind.

“I lost my job as a constable as a result. I had to go to Society for the Blind. I learnt brail, computer, and mobility there. So I lost the job in 2003 and was reinstated in 2006. I got my first promotion in 2011 to a corporal and the second promotion to a sergeant in 2012.

“In 2018 the promotional exams came up, and I was persuaded to do the exams. I did about three papers and an interview and passed all of them. Eventually, in 2019, I was promoted as a result, to the rank of an inspector.

“It is never easy. Whatever you achieve as a normal person the disabled person will have to try twice as hard to achieve the same thing. Even when I was doing exams I had to use someone to read and write for me and somebody reading that exam for you and you understanding it and going from memory to put back what you studied on paper, it is never easy. The challenges were a lot not only in the exams but in life itself because most things that you do as a disabled person you have to pay persons to do them for you when you can't do it for yourself, so it is always going to be more taxing on you in more ways than one,” the inspector said.

“Everything I do I have to do by memory, there is not something I look at and say this is how it goes; I have to remember everything so it is always more challenging as a disabled person going through life normally. There are a lot of obstacles that I had to overcome but one thing I always tell persons, if I can do it anybody else can do it,” he said, smiling.

Inspector Brown also praised his colleagues and family, who he also had to lean on in difficult times.

“When you reach stages like these you have to depend on family and friends. There are colleagues that I have that were there, from before I got blind; throughout all of my blindness, they were there and even now they are still there. Some colleagues are not so kind and everywhere that you go it is always like that.

“There is a colleague of mine Jermaine James that has been very dear to me. We've been friends since I came to Portland in 1994, and we are still friends, and most of the places that I go he carries me around. He always takes care of me more than probably anybody else. I appreciate everybody,” the cop said.


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