Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Rapid Response Unit to include 51 patrol vehicles on 24/7 duty

Sharing the political stage - UNC leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her COP counterpart  Prakash Ramadhar
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar gave additional details Monday night about the police Rapid Response Unit she announced at the post cabinet media briefing last week.

She said such a unit is needed because no matter how effective other measures are if the police cannot respond immediately, the criminals would still escape. 

"So this is what we are going to do… To start with we are purchasing more than 300 state of the art vehicles for the Police Service… with the added technology needed to fight crime… 

"77 of that 300, will be exclusively for our new Rapid Response Unit. 51 of these will be on twenty-four hour patrol. 

"The police will be mobile all over the land, twenty-four hours a day, and 51 cars on the roads with two police officers in each vehicle. 

"There are 15 police regions in Trinidad and Tobago, and no matter where you are, the Rapid Response Unit will be answering your cry for help. 

"A Central Monitoring Control Centre will be the “nerve system” that guides the operation of the Unit and the cars will also be outfitted with a GPS system. 
"With a GPS installed, the control room would know where each vehicle is and the manner in which they can be dispatched within minutes... 

"Tonight I can also tell you that we already have 300 marked and unmarked police vehicles which are equipped with GPS and every day the police service is adding the technology."

She also explained how the service will deal with the shortage of personnel.

"The police are on a recruiting exercise … and beginning in June the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training in collaboration with the Police will start training Special Reserve Police officers through the facilities at COSTAATT, UWI and UTT. 

"We are assured that thousands of persons will be trained between June and December of this year… We have no time to waste! 

"The SRP’s will be trained in:
  • Law Enforcement
  • General Policing 
  • Communications 
  • Criminal Investigation
  • Human Relations and more."
Persad-Bissessar said crime remains her government's number one priority and that is why "every time I come to you I report on new initiatives and keep you up to date with strategies that have already been implemented".

She slammed the previous government for failing to deal with the problem despite their "blimps, anacondas and a library full of crime fighting plans, which did nothing to provide safety and security of the person". 

She said the National Security Council, which she chairs, is committed to reversing the trend and declaring the war on the criminals. 

"I must make it work for all the families who have had to endure pain over the years," she said as she reminded her audience of the murder of Sunshine Alfred.
Sunshine Alfred

"Let me take this opportunity to express deepest sympathy to the mother and family of young Sunshine Alfred murdered several days ago. To all the mothers and fathers who have lost loved ones, we assure you that we are working to get it right. No mother should have to go through that pain," she said. 

Read related story: Suspect in Sunshine murder on sexual offences charges

"Last week I reported that serious crime had come down by 36 per cent in the first quarter and I announced measures to fight back with greater force...

"On Friday, the Commissioner of Prisons reinforced that decision when he said that illegal cell phones are the most serious threat to security in the prisons. 

"I am reminded that PNM Minister in the Ministry of National Security Donna Cox in 2009 had admitted to the House of Representatives that gang leaders were running their organisations from the prisons.

"She said then that crime bosses use cell phones to conduct their affairs, which include executing rivals, money laundering and other crimes including kidnappings...

"They did nothing!! Not only that but today when we act, they raise their voices in opposition. While the PNM was quick to condemn us for blocking illegal mobile calls out of our prisons, the Express Newspaper, in an editorial said that it is long overdue. 

"The opinion piece said that the matter was of deep concern and urgency and that it deserved the attention of everyone with the responsibility to ensure the integrity of the security systems at the nation’s prisons. 

"The only people who want prisoners to keep their cell phones are some in the PNM … everybody else, including the Prison Officers Association, know that it’s a security risk and they are happy with your government’s move. 

"The President of the Association Ceron Richards acknowledged that the problem has been around for years and that his association was “elated” to hear about the plan. 

"We assure him and his Association that we would implement this and other measures to protect the prison officers and the society."

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai