Tired police to get help from army reserve


A group of soldiers patrolled the streets of Port of Spain on Thursday. Photo by Sureash Cholai

THREE days after Police Commissioner Gary Griffith said his officers are tired, President Paula-Mae Weekes has ordered 126 members of the Volunteer Defence Force (VDF) to come out and assist during the state of emergency (SoE).

In a proclamation on Friday the President called out the VDF members “for a period of 92 days with effect from 1st June, 2021 to 31st August, 2021 to strengthen the TT Defence Force capability towards the fulfilment of operational support to the TT Police Service (TTPS) in the current state of public emergency.”

During a media briefing on Tuesday, Griffith said his officers have been working non-stop since late 2019, and were tired, but motivated to keep working. He said then any assistance given to him would be accepted.

He was supported by president of the police Social and Welfare Association Insp Gideon Dickson, who said: “With 14 months on the frontline (facing the pandemic), now with an SoE, it is an ample opportunity for us in law enforcement to continue working together. It will assist us in our ability to ensure the country is safe. So yes, we will welcome any support (from soldiers).”

Griffith said then: “The TTPS, we lead from in front. We are in full control…we got this. If the Defence Force decides to give us any assistance, we will welcome it. But as I stated, I focus on what I can do and let the Defence Force focus on what they can and will do. We provide 427 patrols daily, they (soldiers) provide two convenience patrols. They support us. With our 2,000 police officers they provide 44 officers, to support us. So there is co-ordination, there is communication. There is good dialogue.”

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