Officers of the Port of Spain Municipal Police moved their charge room outside due to poor working conditions in its City Hall office. The move came early Tuesday morning, just one day before the city's new mayor is expected to be sworn in.
Speaking to Guardian Media on the condition of anonymity on Tuesday morning, an officer said they were forced to make the move as the air conditioning system has not been working for months. The officer said this has made the space unbearable to work in, especially while in uniform.
A letter sent to Guardian Media by senior officers, who wished to remain unnamed, outlined several other issues plaguing the municipal force. These ranged from privacy concerns with dormitories and washroom facilities and even cockroach infestations.
"As we anticipate the addition of 36 new male officers to our station, it becomes painfully evident that our current facilities cannot adequately accommodate this influx. Without swift and meaningful action, the already compromised conditions will further deteriorate, affecting the morale and efficiency of our officers," the letter said.
"We implore you to recognize the plight of the dedicated municipal police officers who tirelessly serve our community under less-than-ideal circumstances. We urge you to take immediate action to rectify the deficiencies outlined above, including providing proper housing, sanitation, and working conditions for all officers."
It also called for the unit to be removed from under the management of municipal corporations "and placed under a more appropriate governing body that can ensure proper administrative support and funding."
Commenting on the matter, T&T Police Social and Welfare Association president, ASP Gideon Dickson, called on the relevant authorities to protect and serve the officers whom they rely on to do the same for the nation's capital.
"In the city of Port of Spain, which is a looking class throughout the entire Caribbean region, we need to ensure there is a dragnet of safety given to all the persons who use the city and these officers are paramount in that fight," he said.
When contacted by Guardian Media for comment on the matter, the Port of Spain City Corporation's chief executive officer, Annette Stapleton- Seaforth said she was unable to comment at this time as she needed to get more information. She immediately hung up before Guardian Media could ask anything further.