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DOMA head: A new dynamic in place
President of the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) Gregory Aboud has renewed optismism about security in Port-of-Spain after a meeting with new National Security Minister Jack Warner. “We are not going to abandon Port-of-Spain. We are determined to work with the minister. There is quite a different dynamic taking place here,” Aboud said yesterday. He spoke to the media after he met with Warner at the National Security Ministry, Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain, and gave the minister some ideas on how to make the city safer. “We are quite convinced the time spent here will bring results,”Aboud said.
He said Warner spoke extensively about accountability. “We never heard that in this building before,” he added. Aboud said it was Warner who invited DOMA to meet with him after a shooting incident at a car park on Henry Street, Port-of-Spain, last Thursday. Among the proposals DOMA gave Warner for improving security in the city was strengthening the police Central Business District Unit (CBDU). The CBDU is based in the old police headquarters, St Vincent Street, and is manned by Special Reserve Police officers, Aboud said. DOMA recommended those officers should receive the additional $1,000 other police officers were getting.
Using municipal police to help protect Port-of-Spain was another idea the group threw out to Warner, Aboud said. Port-of-Spain mayor Louis Lee Sing had earlier expressed reservations about that idea, complaining about the shortage of municipal officers. Aboud noted, however, that “Every town and city has a municipal police force that can help restore confidence in people." He added: “Crime has caused people to relocate behind gates and fences. A big issue is how to restore confidence to our city. “It’s a long road ahead. A lot is required to restore confidence to the city.”
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