From the shadow of being arrested and charged with assault, ASP Roger Alexander shook off a dark era in his life to officially receive the Key to the Borough of Point Fortin yesterday.
“While things may not be perfect, don’t come back bitter, come back better,” Alexander told Guardian Media at the awards ceremony at the Point Fortin Town Hall.
The police officer with 26 years service was considered as one of the Borough’s greats alongside soca star Fay-Ann Lyons-Alvarez and Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation Chairman Paul Leacock.
Alexander, who is currently in charge of the North Eastern Division Task Force has a history of dealing with the hardest of criminals and has been a staunch defender of the Police Service.
After receiving the key from Point Fortin Mayor Abdon Mason, Alexander said he wished he could have brought all of his colleagues, from Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith to the newest recruit to the ceremony.
He said that it was only through the Police Service that he achieved his success. He said there were times when he spoke with his peers before crossing enemy lines to try to reform criminals. A daunting task, but “when you come from Point Fortin, there is nothing as giving up or retreat.”
Sending a message to the youths, Alexander said that no stone was unimportant in constructing their lives as the key was finding the right spot to put the stone so that it fits into their life design.
Alexander and his colleague Cpl Sheldon Mires were charged with assaulting Christopher Charles with intent to cause actual bodily harm back in 2016. But the case collapsed in March, with the prosecution’s inability to locate their civilian witnesses.
The fall from grace saw Alexander being suspended and his removal as the co-host of the Beyond the Tape programme on TV6. His charges were dismissed and he got the full backing from Griffith to resume work. Just yesterday, Alexander was involved in a police exercise that saw the arrest of several suspected criminals before meeting his mother at the Town Hall auditorium.
Lyons-Alvarez, is a former International Soca Monarch and Road March winner and has performed in several foreign countries. Despite her achievements, the recognition from the hometown left her a bit emotional.
With her husband Ian “Bunji Garlin” Alvarez recording her acceptance speech, she used the opportunity to shout out her fellow Point Fortin women, saying that while they may be misunderstood, their outspoken attitude was a virtue.
“Plenty of people won’t understand that it is not just the award of the key that is important to me. It is the fact that it is coming from home, where I started my career. I’ve gotten numerous awards from numerous places, but nothing feels better than coming home, driving the familiar streets that you drove up and down for band rehearsals and going to venues to perform and start your career. Seeing the people that supported you from young, still supporting you.
“I’ve gone to thousands of different places to perform and I can safely say that every single spot that I have been to, Point Fortin has been there also. It is impossible for Fay-Ann Lyons to go somewhere and not take that Point Fortin mentality.” Lyons-Alvarez said.
The council of the Point Fortin Borough Corporation and the Mayor’s staff was also rewarded.