One month ago, mother of two and businesswoman, Ria Sookdeo, kissed her children goodbye as she dropped them off at school.
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Police Association welcomes audit
President of the Police Social and Welfare Association Insp Anand Ramesar says an audit into the shortcomings of the Police Service is long overdue. He was responding to comments from Minister of National Security Gary Griffith that New York-based Harnett Associates and Giuliani Solution Point Global Services (GSPS) have been commissioned to review T&T’s law enforcement. In an interview, Ramesar said the association had no problems working with Harnett Associates which was previously linked to William Bratton, the recently-appointed New York Commissioner of Police, and former mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani of Giuliani Solution Point Global Services (GSPGS). “We do not resist nor do we hold any adverse views with persons in the calibre of Bratton and Giuliani leading the charge,” Ramesar said.
He added that the TTPS was staffed with more officers than ever before, yet crime was still spiralling. “We have more physical resources now—firearms, cars, vehicles, ammunition, telecommunications and Internet resources—yet we have not been able to make sufficient inroads in crime. It is suspicious that we have not identified the missing link in the way we do things,” Ramesar said. He added that the association hoped the new partnership would identify redundancy in the TTPS and recommend a new deployment structure for officers. Ramesar congratulated Griffith on the initiative, saying the association would partner with government to make the necessary improvements.
Griffith: No negotiating with criminals
Griffith said the audit would ascertain the shortcomings of the TTPS, not just in manpower strength and inadequate technology, but also in intelligence-gathering, covert operations, crime-scene investigation, a special victims unit, child protection task force and an emergency sections unit. He added that proper methods must be utilised for better law enforcement and that if those were not achieved all the sophisticated crime plans would be futile. Griffith also said he would not be pressured to negotiate with criminals, adding it is a pity that some citizens prefer to protect criminals instead of helping police.
He expressed disappointment that Laventille residents were choosing to engage in protests over recent police killings. “To those who only want to conveniently complain when the police shoot someone in the line of duty, even whilst being shot at, and become hostile when the police do their duty but stay quiet and never see anything or know anything when the cold-blooded killers conduct their duty with no regard for life, all I can say is that it is indeed a pity,” Griffith said. He added: “The needs of the many law-abiding citizens by far outweigh the needs of the few criminal cockroaches and those who protect them. Hence I would not in any way be pressured to give in.”