Despite sickout action by police officers over the past few weeks, officers were out in their numbers on Carnival Tuesday to ensure that the nation's security went according to plan. The officers, who have been protesting the Chief Personnel Officer's (CPO) wage settlement offer of five per cent, had threatened to step up protest action if their demands were not met. Noting that the cost of living continued to rise, the officers have said they were not prepared to work overtime and would not return to normal duties until the CPO presented them with a better salary offer.
However, the streets were not short of officers and up to late yesterday evening, there were no reports of violence as the Parade of the Bands proceeded smoothly along South Quay, Port-of-Spain. Officers were seen walking through the bands as they crossed the stage and they were also on hand to ensure that the large crowd was kept under control, as thousands of local and foreign spectators came out to witness T&T Carnival, dubbed The Greatest Show on Earth.
An officer who spoke to the T&T Guardian said although many had feared Carnival would be affected by the continued protest action, that was not the case. "Everything is going good," the officer said. "We haven't seen anything out of the ordinary and we are here in case anything should happen but so far, things are gong well. "People are just enjoying themselves and taking in the mas." Meanwhile, in an interview, Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley, who was a masquerader in the band, Just Friends, also congratulated the officers for carrying out their duties, stating that he was "very happy" to see them out on the road doing their job.