Tributes for WPC killed in Gasparillo crash

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

THE life of accident victim WPC Athaliah Campbell, fondly called Cambie, was celebrated in song and glowing tributes by mourners at her military funeral on February 21 in Barataria.

Scores of people, including Commissioner of Police (CoP) Erla Harewood-Christopher, attended the funeral at Jesus Elam Assembly International. The funeral was live-streamed on YouTube.

Campbell, 41, of Diego Martin, died on the southbound lane of the Solomon Hochoy Highway near Gasparillo on February 13 when the car she was driving slammed into a utility pole.

She had 12 years of service and was last posted at the Police Academy.

Pastor Tony Evans, who officiated, offered condolences to Campbell’s friends and family.

“I am so sorry she had to go. Some people might say that God was ready for her and God took her. That is not true. God does not kill anybody. God is good,” Evans said.

He added that there is hope her loved ones might see her again, but to do so, they must live right.

He quoted from the Bible, saying it is appointed unto man once to die, and after death comes judgment. When people die, they now start to live, either eternal life or eternal punishment.

To the congregation, he said: “God told me to ask you a question: what if the next homegoing service is yours? Are you prepared to meet the Lord God? Are you ready if the Lord was to come now?

“I want you to make Jesus the lord and saviour of your life. If you do that, you are saved.”

He recalled that in 2022, he officiated at 51 funerals and 29 of the deceased were young. He said he wondered if they had lived right.

Several people, including police, paid tribute to Campbell in song.

W/ASP Woods offered words of comfort, saying Campbell always motivated her team at the academy, and her death was a big loss to all.

She remembered the way Campbell would smile while talking to others.

“She gave of herself fully in the execution of her duties. She went beyond the call of duty when doing her part to ensure the academy fulfilled its mandate in training 1,000 police officers in 2024,” Woods told mourners.

Woods referred to Campbell as hardworking, diligent and dedicated.

“From the CoP and the executive of the police service, the executive and staff, sworn and unsworn, of the academy, most of whom were very close to WPC Campbell, we pray for you more and more strength for today and new hope for tomorrow,” Woods said.

“She was indeed one of the best officers the academy had seen. Though she is not here, she will always be inspiring us.”

A friend identified as AnnMarie Guevara-Perez said Campbell was supposed to visit her family on the Sunday after her tragedy. She planned to make a pot bake with fire on top and below. That never came to pass.

To the bereaved family, Guevara-Perez said: “Rest in the confidence that she is in a better place and that God knows all things. He is the reader of hearts and searcher of minds and we cannot contest the will of God.”

Saying she was representing A Squad of 2012, WPC Cox said the words “Here today, gone tomorrow” have not been truer.

She added, “Most people will say she always showed up for anybody at any time. Your tour has ended. Rest peacefully.”

Another colleague described Campbell as an animal lover, and she, too, shared fond memories.

Traffic wardens (batch nine) presented Campbell’s daughter with a token of appreciation.