Last update: 06-Dec-2013 1:00 am
Friday, December 06, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Pay $1m to families of cops killed in line of duty
A comprehensive renumeration package, low mortgage rates and for the families of police officers killed in the line of duty to get $1 million as compensation. These are among the requests made by the Police Service Social and Welfare Association for today’s budget. In an interview yesterday, the association’s secretary acting Insp Michael Seales said given the trying situations officers have to encounter on an almost everyday basis they ought to be rewarded accordingly. Using the Beetham as an example, Seales said: “Given the different things you would have seen in the past couple of weeks and the demonstration by the police of their loyality to their country, the Beetham incident stands out, and why it stands out, because the police demonstrated that they are second to none.”
He said when officers die, their spouses and children often have to fend for themselves and sometimes it is difficult for them to make ends meet. “We would like to see for police officers who are killed in the line of duty, we want nothing less than $1 million as a start to cover the expenses of their spouses and children,” Seales said. “If not, at least a salary given to the wife for the next ten years and education for the children up to the age of 18,” he added. Another matter to be immediately addressed, he said, was the upgrade of equipment. Seales said some officers have been using bulletproof vests for the past ten years which had passed their expiration dates. “We don’t just want equipment that is substandard. We want equipment that is of world class standard which meets international best practices,” he said.
In giving an example, he said the shields used by the police during last Monday’s protest were not up to international standard. “That’s what we need, proper shields and even things like tear gas must be of a proper standard...all supply of equipment must be of world-class standard,” Seales said. “We also need each officer to have their own bulletproof vest because as it is now, that is not the case.” Saying the salary for police commissioners was too small, Seales said the Government should upgrade it to what former police commissioner Dwayne Gibbs had received. Gibbs, obtained a monthly salary of $132,916, while his fellow Canadian, Jack Ewatski, who was deputy police commissioner in charge of operations took home $106,333 per month.
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