Newton Amos, from humble beginnings in the Mount Rosser area of Ewarton, St. Catherine, has been making an enduring mark on various areas of society, including politics, law enforcement, and business.
He is the youngest of 10 children for his late parents Adassa and Walter-James Amos.
“I grew up as any ordinary country boy – barefooted in instances, [and] carried water on my head for long distances in the mornings and evenings,” he told The Beacon.
“I wanted to become a lawyer, but I didn’t get a chance to do that; my parents couldn’t afford it. But they were able to send us to school; we were never out of school.”
Amos attended Mount Rosser Elementary School, Mount Rosser Primary, Ewarton High, and Dinthill Technical High School where he spent a short time before travelling abroad.
He got his first job when he returned to Jamaica, working for about a year at Alcan bauxite company, now known as WINDALCO.
When he was 20 years old, Amos joined the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) with an intention to earn enough money to send himself to law school.
He recalled being valedictorian of his training batch, and being assigned initially to the St. Thomas Division.
He ended up spending 40 years in the JCF, retiring at age 60 while he was Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Area Five.
Amos recalled being injured once on the job, and that’s when one of his arms was broken in a motor vehicle accident.
“I think I did extremely well as a police officer; I saved quite a few lives,” he said. “I was a very assertive officer when it comes to crime; don’t play around with me, because crime is what really set back this country under both governments.”
Amos, who headed various stations and major operations, said the people he arrested included the infamous Tesha Miller as well as Dancehall icons Vybz Kartel and Mavado.
During his tenure in the JCF, he also served as Chairman of the Jamaica Police Federation from 1995 to 1996, during which time he spearheaded the establishment of the Police Welfare Fund to assist cops and their families financially.
Amos told The Beacon that, like his mother, he takes a deep interest in other people’s welfare. That’s what actually drove him into another phase of his life – politics.
“I see politics as the stepping stone to help more people,” he opined. “Coming from the police force, it was a transitioning from one help to a higher help.”
Amos, who initially had consternation about entering politics, joined the Jamaica Labour Party in 2015 – the year after he left the JCF.
“I was invited into politics by the now prime minister, [Andrew Holness]. I was asked to run the seat in North West St. Catherine,” Amos said.
He, so far, lost two General Elections and one at the local government level when he competed in the Linstead Division. However, he gained significant support for his party, and transformed the seat into a marginal one.
Amos told The Beacon: “Despite the fact that I have lost three elections in five years, I am happy that I was able to help so many people who needed help. My own business got hit because I got involved in politics, having to reach out to people every single day. But I have been blessed; God has provided for me.”
Amos is the owner of a security company, Security Innovation and Electronics Limited. His daughter Nadine, who is an attorney-at-law, is the company’s managing director.
Amos has been married for almost 40 years to Sydna, a retired Programmes Director at the Statistical Institute of Jamaica.
He wants to be remembered as a caring person.
He told The Beacon: “When my day is come, I would like for someone to be able to say, ‘he lived a life in helping others; he was someone that was approachable, and someone that at all times dispense a sense of justice and fair play’. If I were to have that said, and I would be able to hear it, I would be sleeping comfortably.”
Amos was among 10 people and organizations awarded last month by the Linstead Community Development Committee (Linstead CDC) for sterling contribution to the organization and to the wider Linstead community.
The occasion was the Linstead CDC’s 21st Anniversary Youth and Community Awards Ceremony, hosted at Linstead Community Resource Centre.
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