Friday, October 18, 2013

PM opens new police station in Duncan Street, says 8 others nearing completion

New police station - Express photo
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar formally opened a new police station at Duncan Street, Port of Spain and announced that eight other stations are nearing completion. 

They are in Arima, Brasso, Cumuto, La Brea, Maloney, Moruga, Oropouche, and Piarco. She also said the government would soon begin building stations at Besson Street, Manzanilla, Maracas-St Joseph, St Clair, St Joseph, Matelot, Matura in Trinidad and Old Grange and Roxborough in Tobago. 

persad-Bissessar also said over the past three years since her government took office several police stations have been upgraded. But she said the buildings by themselves would not solve the crime problem.

She noted that crime is an impediment to the government's goals of improving the quality of lives of all citizens.

"Crime is our common enemy as such we need to tackle it collectively. To enable a
reduction in crime, we first and foremost need to ensure as a government that we bring services to the people," she said. 

"The construction and handing over of the 64 Duncan Street Police Station
should be understood from this perspective. Our mandate as a government has been to listen to the concerns of society, and respond accordingly. 

She gave details of her government's crime fighting priorities. "Our investment here and in communities where police stations are under construction, goes beyond the infrastructure," she stated.

"As a government, we understand and hold firm to the notion that modern technology and equipment coupled with well-trained human resource are critical to our crime fighting efforts.

"Once police stations are built the next fundamental goal is to equip police officers with the requisite resources to enable them to crime fight effectively. It is for this reason the Government has expanded the police force and invested in modern technology systems.

"We have undertaken to deal with the crime situation proactively through the
formation of a Rapid Response Unit (RRU) and the purchase 300 new vehicles. 
The Unit is expected to be fully operational before the end of the year. 
"We also understand and appreciate that the sacrifice made by law enforcers to ensure our safety and security, must be complimented with institutional and 
legislative support. 

"We intend to review the Anti-Gang legislation and the Bail Act and introduce stronger legislation to deal with witness tampering and intimidation, gangs among others.

"I want to reiterate that the measures we employ will not merely be reactions to the current challenges of crime, criminality and violence, nor confined to only one geographic area, but are part of this government’s long-term vision and strategies for the transformation of not only East Port of Spain, but also several other areas and communities throughout Trinidad and Tobago."

The Prime Minister said the community must feel a sense of ownership in order to receive value from the new facility and the services it provides.

"The people of Duncan Street, the communities at Nelson Street, Charlotte Street,
Prince Street, the businesses in these areas will now be comforted by knowing that there is a Police Station a few minutes away that can respond to emergency calls," she said.

"Police stations must be seen as institutions within the community, and so they must build acceptance and credibility within that space. While the buildings are important, the people that use them make the difference as to whether its impact is felt or not."

Persad-Bissessar said the police officer must be a part of the social fabric, part of the culture
of order and discipline. He or she must be respected and beyond reproach. Respect cannot survive solely by virtue of office, it is earned, she declared.

"In fact, police officers must see themselves as cultural agents, by promoting a 
culture of self-respect and respect for the rights of others, a culture of discipline, a culture of peace and order," she added.

Persad-Bissessar said communities need to work with police in order to have a crime free society "in which we can nurture our children, in which our life, limb, property and other liberties are respected and preserved." 

She added, "We all need the police, and yet we must all practice policing in our lives and
communities. We need the police not just when a crime is committed, not just during an emergency or natural disaster, not only for mass crowd events, not only for traffic management.

"The maintenance of law and order must never be solely the responsibility
of Government or the Police, but the responsibility of all society. The individual has a responsibility to his or her self to uphold the law because there must be a belief that it protects oneself just as it protects anyone else. 

"The best way to defend yourself is to support law enforcement. The family has a duty to itself to uphold the law. So too does the community, the city, the country.

"Our presence today, as we officially handover this police station to you as a
community, is based on the understanding that we are here, together, to wage a war against crime and criminality. 

"We are here because we recognise that to win the war against crime it is essential that government join hands with communities in forming concrete partnerships, cemented by a common goal of a safe country.

"In other words, we must strive to shape a secure environment that builds trust and
is built on trust. It is the only the way we will continue to enjoy the growth and prosperity that has so transformed our country and its future...

"Let us work together, support each other and be each other’s keeper to build a stronger, safer community and country. As your representative, the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago."

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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