The introduction of body and dashboard cameras for all police officers is expected to have a direct impact on the fight against crime.
Speaking with the T&T Guardian after Finance Minister Colm Imbert announced a series of anti-crime initiatives during his 2019 Budget presentation yesterday, Police Commissioner Gary Griffith and Police Complaints Authority (PCA) Director David West both suggested they would immediately improve the T&T Police Service (TTPS).
While Griffith declined to comment extensively on Imbert's announcements, he said: "What I can say is whatever is provided would be utilised to the optimum level. Citizens would get their money's worth."
West suggested that the cameras would not only bring comfort to citizens who are fearful of police brutality.
"The PCA has always advocated for having body cams on police officers to protect them from wrongful accusations," West said.
Over the past two years, the TTPS has been testing using body cameras for officers in select policing divisions. Last year, the TTPS conducted a pilot project where 60 body cameras were issued to officers of police stations in the Northern Division - Tunapuna, St Joseph and Pinto Road.
In addition to an increase in the use of the cameras, Imbert also announced the use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) for tracking police vehicles and the introduction of laptops and tablets in police vehicles.
He also revealed that there will be an enhanced national fingerprint data system and the modernisation of the system for the issuing of firearm users' licences (FULs).
Although Imbert said police officers will now be held "fully accountable" for damage to all assets assigned to them, he did not go into details on whether such a policy will only apply in cases of negligence.