Traffic wardens are still respected members of the law enforcement community, and a recent incident is not a true reflection of the existing relationship between the traffic wardens and the T&T Police Service (TTPS).
This was the message sent yesterday by the TTPS during a meeting with a contingent of traffic wardens and acting Deputy Commissioners of Police Ramnarine Samaroo and Curt Simon.
The meeting took place in the Solomon McLeod Lecture Theatre at the Police Administration Building, Port-of- Spain and was authorised by Chief Traffic Warden Neville Sankar and Commissioner of Police-elect Erla Harewood-Christopher.
“The role of the traffic wardens is very important to the overall security of the public, and this hard work and dedicated service will continue to be recognised by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), as they continue to play a critical part in crime reduction,” a media release issued by the TTPS stated.
Simon said he did not want to comment on the incident involving a police officer and traffic wardens in Port-of-Spain that is now before the court. An off-duty cop who was involved in that incident, a video of which went viral on social media, was charged following that incident.
However, Simon said he wanted to address the emotional impact the incident had on all uniformed officers.
Simon said: “The TTPS and traffic wardens have a harmonious relationship despite the incident and that going forward, we will continue to build our relationship.”
Given the importance of the relationship between both parties, Samaroo asked those present for ideas about what could be done to improve their relationship.
The traffic wardens, who were from different regions across the country, were eager to proffer suggestions and solutions.
Using alternative communication channels, such as WhatsApp chat groups to share information, the use of drone technology already in use by police to help traffic wardens and the sharing of contact information with regional TTPS Command Centres, were just some of the ideas shared and discussed.
The traffic wardens also said lessons should be learnt from the recent incident, as persons should be trained in the areas of emotional intelligence, anger management and de-escalation of situations, to prevent and minimise the risk of unwanted public incidents.
Traffic wardens said the recent incident would not affect the continued professional and harmonious relationship between both organisations.