Last update: 12-Dec-2013 1:27 am
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Police Bicycle Patrol Unit to be expanded
Plans are under way to expand the operations of the Bicycle Patrol Unit throughout the remaining seven police divisions in Trinidad. Operating out of the Crown Point Police Station, Tobago, the unit’s head, Sgt Samuel Quamina, said, “We were primarily developed to patrol tourist areas such as Crown Point, Turtle Beach, Pigeon Point and Buccoo in Tobago. We recently started operating in the Northern Division in areas such as Tunapuna, St Augustine and Arima.”
However, Quamina added that they were not stopping there, saying, “We are working on the logistics to expand operations in the remaining divisions.” Quamina said the specialist unit had managed to create greater visibility for law enforcement, as well as improving community relations between citizens and police.
The Tobago unit comprises six armed officers, three male and three female, who operate from 8 am to 6 pm daily but Quamina explained that in Trinidad, operations were limited to special events and traffic patrols only in the day. Confirming that the three women and five men who operate in Trinidad do so on a part-time basis, Quamina added: “We are severely challenged in the manpower area, as we currently use both police officers and Special Reserve Police officers.”
He assured all officers had been specially trained and certified by the International Police Mountain Bike Association. Although he was unable to provide any statistics to show the success of the unit, which was established 11 years ago, Quamina boasted of the great success it had enjoyed in Tobago. He said the majority of arrests were for larceny and narcotics possession.
Bicycle officers in Trinidad concentrate mainly on issuing fixed-penalty notices and regulating traffic. Although members were mainly chosen after they expressed a desire to work in the unit, Quamina said the expansion would result in more being selected, as well as the acquisition of specialist uniforms and equipment.
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