Rupert Harper dedicated himself to serving his country for 26 years, and while executing one of his obligations as a Police Officer, he suddenly died.
Inspector Harper passed away at the age of 50 last Saturday in Lawrence Tavern, St. Andrew when he was managing a dispute following an arrest he made for a person of interest. The veteran lawman, who was serving at the Detention and Courts Division, died four days after his wife’s birthday. Michelle, the widow of Inspector Harper and the mother of his three children, admitted that she is still having a hard time accepting the death of her husband who she has been married to for 20 years.
Michelle expressed that she is slowly taking her time to cope with everything as the thought of the funeral is hard, and she is praying for guidance for her family. The widow also explained the love her husband had for his work saying, “He was so dedicated that there were days where i was so mad with him because he would get up in the nights and sometimes again throughout the day to write reports.” She went on to state that Inspector Harper believed that he had a plan to solve the crime in Jamaica.
She recalled that her pastor and her friends planned a birthday party for her that Saturday and also recounted coming home after completing her errands, which was when she received the horrible news.
She went on to describe her failure to believe what she was told and her journey to Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), but when she spoke to the doctor who pronounced him dead she learned he was already in the morgue. After going to the morgue she saw her husband lying with a bruised eye and bloody mouth he got from the fall.
Additionally, Michelle spoke about the Saturday morning when she last spoke to her husband around 9 a.m. She described how she watched her husband leave through the gate from the doorway. She said the look in his eyes showed that he loved her, and her eyes displayed the same affection, but they didn’t say the words that day. The widow described her husband as loving, strict with the children and a bit miserable at times, but he always wanted what was best for the children. She added that he was very supportive both financially and in keeping the household in order.
More of her accounts described the Inspector to be a man who loved farming and dub poetry. According to Harper’s wife, he would give motivational talks at several schools and pray for prisoners in multiple correctional facilities when he was off duty.
Michelle went on to say that Harper was an outspoken man of integrity, and she was happy she had met him. She said she was also happy he died doing what he believed in, even though she wished he was still here.
The head of the St. Andrew North Police Division, Senior Superintendent Aaron Fletcher declared that Harper’s last actions were a great representation of who he was as a policeman.
“He acted on intuition and brought in someone the police has had as a person of interest in an ongoing matter,” the senior Superintendent said. He also assured that when Harper collapsed, he had several policemen with him, and they assisted in taking him to the hospital.