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The off-duty police officer who intervened to quell a fight among schoolgirls attending the Mucurapo West Secondary School yesterday advised parents to be vigilant and look out for their children. PC Jelani Prince, who has ten years service, was speaking at a brief commendation ceremony at the office of Assistant Commissioner of Police Stephen Ramsubhag at Riverside Plaza, Port-of-Spain yesterday.
“I would do it again if necessary...I thought somebody was going to lose their life and it could escalate into something. I would like to thank the TTPS for bringing me into the service and I would do it for anybody in this country. I want the mothers to take care of their children,” he said. He said he travels daily on that road and was surprised to see a girl with a knife in her hand during the fight.
“It would usually be a boy not a girl. Parents should take care of their children. I will intervene in the situation again but you must assess the situation. The best thing as officers is that you cannot turn a blind eye because it could be our family our friends.” He said assistance could also be needed if a situation like that arises again.Ramsubhag said Prince showed bravery in maintaining order while he was off-duty and put himself in harm’s way. Ramsubhag said he felt compelled to go on record and commend his dedication.
“He did not turn a blind eye but showed bravery and dedication to duty and had quick response to the unsavoury incident,” he said. Ramsubhag said he would like the unidentified citizen who assisted Prince to come forward. Acting Senior Superintendent Lendore Thomas, acting Superintendent Oswald Cudjoe and Insp Wayne Mystar also attended the ceremony. A YouTube video of the fight, which occurred on March 14, went viral and showed Prince, dressed in a T-shirt and track pants, shoving the girls apart.
Since then, ten of the girls have been suspended pending an investigation by the Ministry of Education, the school and the police.