Police Commissioner Michael DeSilva today extended condolences on behalf of the entire Bermuda Police Service (BPS) to the family of former Commisioner of Police, Jean-Jacques Lemay, QPM, CCM, BA, who died on Saturday evening, December 16th, as a result of a road traffic collision that occurred on Highway 174 in Ottawa, Canada.
According to media reports, the car being driven by Mr Lemay was involved in a collision with two other vehicles, and a 33-year-old male driver has subsequently been charged with causing death by dangerous driving and impaired driving, along with other related driving offences.
A spokesman for the Ottawa police said: “Initial information obtained by investigators is at approximately 10:22pm a Dodge pickup was traveling eastbound… for reasons which are still under investigation the Dodge pickup truck found itself into the oncoming lane and struck head on a Volvo being driven by a 71-year-old male, then a third vehicle, a Mazda 5 struck the Dodge pickup truck.
“The 71-year-old driver was transported to an area hospital, by Ottawa Paramedic Service, where he died on arrival. A 33-year-old woman, who was in the passenger seat of the Dodge pickup, was also seriously injured and transported by Ottawa Paramedics to an area hospital, where she was listed in serious condition.
“The 30-year-old male driver of the Mazda 5 sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene.”
Mr Lemay served as Deputy Commissioner of the BPS in 1997, and then as Commissioner from 1998 to 2001. He previously served as a Chief Superintendent in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and in 1994 he was seconded to Haiti where he commanded a police unit as part of an international intervention to restore the locally elected government to power.
In Bermuda, Mr Lemay drew on his administrative and personnel experience to effect key changes in BPS policies and procedures, including the introduction of a new promotion process, a grievance policy, and the reintroduction of the Police Cadet programme.
Commissioner of Police, Michael DeSilva, remembers Mr Lemay fondly.
“Mr Lemay had a warm and approachable manner. He was very sociable and engaging, and he knew virtually every member of staff by their first name. He had a passion for policing and he was committed to the BPS. His motto was ‘The police service is bigger than any one of us as individuals’,” said Mr DeSilva.
“On behalf of the officers, support staff, reserves and cadets of the Bermuda Police Service, our thoughts and prayers are with Mr Lemay’s wife, Lida, and her family at this sad time.”