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Thousands seek jobs as SRPs

By Cecily Asson Friday, August 17 2012

Thousands of men and women turned up yesterday at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), Tarouba Link Road, San Fernando seeking selection to become part of the Special Reserve Police Service (SRP).

Among the applicants standing in the long lines were pregnant women who were allowed to go ahead of other women who had been waiting for several hours.

Newsday learnt that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service is in search of 600 SRP officers. However, a preliminary count gave an estimated 5,000 persons at the venue by midday, a senior officer told Newsday. Yesterday’s screening began at 8 am but Newsday was told that from as early as 5 am, hundreds of anxious applicants had already gathered at the UTT compound formerly, the San Fernando Technical Institute, and stood in line for their interviews.

Vehicles occupied every possible parking space in the vicinity of UTT and along the Sir Solomon Hochoy Highway causing traffic to slow down. On Tuesday, screening was held for the first time at the Chaguanas North Secondary School, Chaguanas. Newsday spoke to a Point Fortin man whose right leg was in a cast. He said he arrived at the venue at 6 am and met hundreds already lined up.

He said, “Thank God I managed to get through early and I am happy.”

He told Newsday that although he is employed “in the oil” his job is not a permanent one.

“I just want some job security. I have all my passes but being a SRP will give me the right start.”

Applicants were not required to have academic qualifications but must be 18 years and over and properly attired for yesterday’s screening. Many of them who spoke to Newsday said they were in need of employment. Although the “cut off time” for allowing persons to the venue to be interviewed was 9.30 am, at 10.45 am persons were still arriving hoping to be screened.

Two female officers at the entrance allowed the latecomers to go in and “still try.”

A woman said she expected to be there until the afternoon since they were taking in applicants in batches of eight.“The batch will write the exam which will last about 90 minutes. So it’s whole day here.” A senior officer said more classrooms should have been used during the exercise to avoid the long lines. He said, “I think they did not expect so many people to turn up here today (yesterday). The exercise in Chaguanas was finished in about three hours. Today will be very long.”

An officer said he was pleased to see persons seeking to become SRPs.

“Long ago they used to call us all kinds of names, but look at what is happening here, many of them are here seeking employment to be SRPs.”

Screening continues tomorrow at the Police Academy in St James, on August 21 at North Eastern College, Sangre Grande, and August 24 at Scarborough Secondary School, Tobago.

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