Ria Rambally and Rosemarie Sant
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Police Service to fill gap
Despite the Princes Town CID being depleted by the arrests of seven of its officers, public relations officer of the Police Service Supt Joanne Archie said residents were still being adequately served. Archie said the absence of some officers was something that the police human resource department considered when managing its workforce.
In a telephone interview on Thursday, Archie said, “These are eventualities that the police service will cater for, because we expect that police officers’ decisions are ethically sound and that they abide by the law. “It is about managing your human resource properly, because we always cater for, not necessarily officers being arrested, but retirement, resignation and officers who are sick.”
As to whether there would be enough police officers to deploy in case of incidents, she said Snr Supt of Southern Division Police Cecil Santana would have to fill gaps at the station but operations in the division had not been affected by the officers’ absence and that, if necessary, others from surrounding stations could be transferred there. “What we would do is ensure that our human resource is strategically deployed so that we don’t have a gap or a depleted strength in any one area,” Archie said.
“They would have now been charged and for the head of the division, there are certain procedures that must be followed as it relates to whether they will be suspended from duty. “When that is done, the senior superintendent will make amends to any gaps or depleted strength at the station. They will have to deal with that right away.” Archie admitted that when officers were arrested, it could affect their colleagues.
“Whenever a member of the organisation is charged for criminal offences, it can never be a comfortable or a good feeling because you can feel pain in that regard,” she said. Because she was out of office, Archie could not say how many police officers were before the court, or the strength of the police service, but said it had not reached its sanctioned strength, and therefore the service continued recruiting to ensure that the public was adequately served.
Commenting on the issue, Santana said the arrests had not hindered the Southern Division’s crimefighting efforts. He said: “It is seven officers from the CID gone. We have to work with what we have until others can be found. “We are still fighting crime and doing what we have to do until we settle the issue of having seven officers charged.”
On Wednesday, Cpl Roger Reid along with PCs Bryan Dookie, Andre Watson, Simon Marshall, Pradeep Ramadhin, Atiba Teesdale and WPC Alena Ambrally, appeared at the San Fernando Magistrates Court, charged with misbehaviour in public office.
They appeared before Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington and were accused of unlawfully and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on 18-year-old Jameson John, by dousing him with methylated spirits and setting him alight, while he was in their custody at the Princes Town Police Station last December. The seven reappeared before a Princes Town magistrate yesterday.
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