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Kamla reads riot act to cops: Govt won’t condone illegal protest action
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar says the Government will not allow T&T’s security to be compromised by protesting police officers on Monday. And she insisted that any officer who engaged in the illegal protest would be dealt with. “We shall enforce the law,” the Prime Minister insisted. Persad-Bissessar spoke with reporters on the Brian Lara Promenade, Port-of- Spain, after a walk down Frederick Street yesterday. The PM, who was earlier greeted by many citizens, said: “The Government has not taken lightly, the threat that some members of the Police Service may fail to carry out their duties to protect the lives of innocent men, women and children. “We will not stand idly by and witness this wanton act of abandonment and dereliction of duty to take place without an appropriate measured response,” she stressed.
She said every available measure would be put in place to deal with any eventuality. She said all the resources of the State were ready, willing and able to be deployed to ensure the nation was not held to ransom. “But if the voice of reason fails to be heard by some and the threats of irresponsibility are carried out, we will meet it with all resolve in the world,” she added. The PM was accompanied by National Security Minister Brigadier John Sandy, Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs, Chief of Defence Staff Brigadier Kenrick Maharaj and president of Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (Doma) Gregory Aboud. The walk followed a series of meeting with the leadership of the Defence Force and the Protective Services.
Police officers are protesting the Government’s five per cent wage hike offer in negotiations with Chief Personnel Officer Stephanie Lewis. On that matter, Persad-Bissessar said the CPO’s offer was a total measure of the value placed on the police officer in T&T. She insisted: “At this time (it) is what the country can afford and when we need to be prudent in the management of our financial and fiscal affairs.”
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