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Police work a dangerous job

By Ryan Hamilton-Davis Monday, September 1 2014

click on pic to zoom in
Tribute to cops: President Anthony Carmona pays tribute to police officers in an Independence toast at the Police Administration Building, Port-of-Spa...
Tribute to cops: President Anthony Carmona pays tribute to police officers in an Independence toast at the Police Administration Building, Port-of-Spa...

President Anthony Carmona yesterday commended the members of the Police Service for their assiduous efforts in keeping the people of Trinidad and Tobago safe.

The President lauded the officers at the annual Independence toast which took place at the Police Administration Building, Sackville Street, Port-of-Spain.

Carmona, a former judge, said his 30 years of service in the criminal justice system has led him to believe that a police officer’s job is one of the most dangerous in the country.

“I had been in the criminal justice system for over 30 years, and I have, in fact, had to interface and interact on various levels with all law enforcement officials and I dare say I am very much au courant with the daily battle we go through. I have always stated, based on my experience and my life, that perhaps the two most dangerous jobs in Trinidad and Tobago is the rig driller, because there is no guarantee that he will come home that night. In a like manner there is no guarantee that a police officer that leaves home and goes on patrol will return home on that night,” Carmona said.

The President said he empathised with the job of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), however he reminded them of three major rules that will lead the service to excellence.

“I am very much empathetic with your job, your responsibility and more importantly with your burden. I dare say however that as much as your job is a difficult one there are three things that matter always: those are due process, the rule of law and natural justice and I think that once you bare those things in mind you will indeed get the job done. So soldier on, invoke the power of God at all times to ensure your safety and serve people the right way,” Carmona said.

On his last day as chairman of Police Service Commission, Prof Ramesh Deosaran, also spoke at the toast, lauding Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams as an outstanding role model. Deosaran said one of the greatest duties that one could embark on is serving the country and that the top cop had done so with professionalism.

Williams thanked Deosaran for his words and for his support of the Police Service over the many years and revealed the new vision for the service.

“Policing is based on the principle that citizens are responsible for maintenance of law and order in society. Sir Robert Peel underscored this principle in 1829: ‘Police are the public and public are police’, so we citizens must work hand in hand with police to improve safety and security of our land. The TTPS, the body charged with the lead role of policing in our country has set itself a new vision over our strategic mission for 2014 – 2016: to make every place in TT safe,” Williams said.

He said a partnership with citizens is at the heart of the initiative, which will be achieved through enhanced community engagement and also said citizens have acknowledged the increased presence of the police.

“The TTPS has a lot of committed police officers and what I can give the society is the assurance that those committed police officers regardless of circumstances in the workplace will do everything possible to ensure that TT becomes a safe and more secure twin island state,” Williams said.

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