Thanks, Mr President
By Darcel Choy Monday, September 2 2013
The Police Social and Welfare Association (PSWA) welcomes suggestions made by President Anthony Carmona on ways to improve the lives of police officers and soldiers.
At an Independence Day reception at Police Administration Building, Sackville Street, Port-of-Spain, Carmona called for compensation for families of slain soldiers and police officers.
Carmona also said the wife of a fallen soldier or police officer should be awarded two years of his salary and any children should be given a dependence grant until they were 18 years old.
PSWA president Acting Inspector Anand Ramesar yesterday said the association was grateful that the President took the time to reflect on the needs and welfare of police officers, which endorsed his own recommendations, but further suggested an income of five years be provided instead of two years’ salary.
He said for too long families of police officers have been waiting for “something substantial” to be put in place if their loved ones die while on duty.
“The provision of a monthly income for the spouse is not a new recommendation but the fact of the matter is there has never been an iota of effort to implement anything of this nature for police officers. Notwithstanding there is a reality that any policeman can lose his life on any given day that he reports for duty,” Ramesar said.
He called on the police administration to work closer with the association to improve the service
Ramesar said the association will deliver its salary recommendations to the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) Stephanie Lewis this week and it will definitely be “piggybacking” on the recommendations of the President.
“It would be curious to see whether or not the CPO and the Minister of Finance would give consideration to the recommendations of the President,” he said. Carmona also suggested police officers conduct roving roadblocks as well as use video cameras when conducting search warrants which can be used as evidence to support their case if questioned.
When Newsday contacted Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams to comment on the President’s suggestions, he said he did not want to, however, he said, “the society should take what was said in its entirety and digest it.”