Last update: 05-Dec-2013 3:57 pm
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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PM: Rapid Response Unit by next year
Government hopes to have a pilot project for the proposed Rapid Response Unit implemented later this year or early next year. So said national security adviser to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Gary Griffith, yesterday. He met with Deputy Police Commissioner Mervyn Richardson for several hours yesterday to firm up plans for the unit. In giving an example of how the unit would operate Griffith said T&T would be divided into specific regions and patrols vehicles would be assigned to those areas on a 24-hour basis.
With a Global Positioning System (GPS), he said, the movement of each vehicle would be monitored. Systems also would be put into place to have telephone calls monitored and traced. Some 300 law enforcement officers from various arms of the security forces would be assigned to the unit, Griffith added. “We do not want to say at this time from what specific areas the officers will be, for example whether they will only be from the Police Service,” he said. On August 22, after hosting a joint meeting between Government and Opposition members to address the crime problem, Persad-Bissessar said the unit would enable the police to be on patrol throughout the length and breadth of the country but would focus on most crime-prone areas.
That was not the first time the Prime Minister had announced the unit. Last May, she announced the implemetation of the unit at a press conference. Persad-Bissessar said to staff the unit and to assist with increasing manpower in the Police Service a specialised training programme for Special Reserve Police officers was initiated last June. The first batch of officers from the programme are expected to graduate this month. Griffith said the Rapid Response Unit was something “totally new” to T&T and within ten minutes of a distress call, action would be taken.
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