Constable Cleon Porter champions the cause of the disabled
Constable Cleon Porter joined the Jamaica Constabulary Force some 16 years ago with one motive: to make a meaningful impact at all levels of the society. The seed for this worthwhile dream to make a difference in the lives of others was planted by...
Constable Cleon Porter joined the Jamaica Constabulary Force some 16 years ago with one motive: to make a meaningful impact at all levels of the society.
The seed for this worthwhile dream to make a difference in the lives of others was planted by his late grandmother Fredrica Bryan as he grew up watching her selfless acts in the Corporate Area inner-city community of Trench Town, later on embracing the same charitable spirit himself.
It was that kind of mindset and compassion that saw Porter getting involved in the St Catherine-based Portmore Self-Help Disability Organisation, serving as a director.
A chance meeting seven years ago with the founder, Bridgette Johnson, who had visited the Hellshire Police Station where he worked, led to a discussion which piqued his interest. He told her he would love to join as he wanted to assist in making the organisation better and stronger.
Serving outside of his official job as a police officer is something Porter finds very fulfilling.
“I feel accomplished each time when I make a positive contribution in people’s lives. When I help others, it is the richest feeling I can ever have,” he told The Gleaner, admitting that concerned relatives warned him that persons could take advantage of his “giving nature”, but said that was a a risk he was willing to take.
Although not a Christian, Porter said he embraces the principles of the Bible, and part of that is being charitable.
Among his endeavours have been sponsoring and taking physical part in the Chevanna Chambers Singing Ministry, hosting back-to-school treats in Portmore, and the Touch Windsor Charity back-to-school treat in Spanish Town, St Catherine, among several others.
“As part of my involvement in the Portmore Self-Help Disability Organisation, we have been advocating for persons with disabilities and provide wheelchair-repair services as well as arranging teaching and training for special needs children and adults,” said the cop.
Porter said he sees his engagement with the public as critical, noting that many cases of domestic and other abuse as well as violence in the country are the result of undiagnosed mental disorders, which can be caused by various factors.
“These individuals would automatically fall under persons with disability and they can receive help from various institutions. Hence a military and paramilitary approach cannot be the answer,” he told The Gleaner.
Looking inward to his substantive job, Porter would like to see National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang, Police Commissioner Antony Anderson and Chief of Defence Staff Antonette Wemyss Gorman of the Jamaica Defence Force conduct annual special needs psychological workshops for the security forces.
“They will then get the chance to be equipped with the knowledge to spot those individuals (citizens needing intervention) and to provide the necessary guidance, referral and correct response to the public and our own members,” he said.