Wednesday, January 8, 2014

PM launches RRU, calls on citizens to help fight crime

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissesar on Tuesday formally launched the Rapid Response Unit (RRU) of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) as part of her activities in a day devoted to finding answers for the country's serious crime problem.

Speaking with reporters after the event she described the latest spike in murders as "horrendous and intolerable". Nineteen people have been killed in various parts of the country since the start of the new year.

In her address at the launch she showed empathy with families who have lost loved ones. "For those families who are in the midst of tragedy and loss, I want to say our thoughts, our prayers and indeed my heart is with all of you," she said.

“I know that this is no comfort to families whose loved ones are gone but I think we need to reiterate that we must intensify the war on crime and on criminals,” Persad-Bissessar said. 

The PM noted that the RRU, which has been operational since December last year, is being implemented initially in three policing divisions - Western, Northern and North Eastern as part of her government’s plan to strengthen the protective services and reduce crime. These are areas where a large number of the violent crimes occurred. 

The unit comprises a little over 80 officers and in its first phase will use almost two dozen specially-modified and painted vehicles.
The RRU, she explained, would assist in quickening the police response to reports of crime and raise public confidence in the service. “The launch of this unit represents an escalation on our war on crime and will be an important strategy, not only in helping to win that war but also to help make our citizens feel safe again," she said.

“The unit will operate by evidence-based and intelligence-driven processes which all focus on quicker and more effective responses to calls for help from citizens,” the PM added.

Persad-Bissessar called on citizens to help the Government, especially through participating in the upcoming national consultations scheduled to be launched later this month. She said they should report crimes and suspicious activity using the 999 and 911 emergency hotlines.

“If we each do our part as government and as responsible citizens, we can together make our country safe again,” she added. 

Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams also called on citizens to work with the police in the fight against crime.

The Rapid Response Unit is based on the fundamental concept of police patrol. It will provide:
  • Immediate availability to respond to emergencies
  • Reasonable response times even to non-emergencies
  • Some level of visibility to afford a general feeling of security
To ensure that the RRU is able to fulfill its mandate, the government has provided it with the following:
  • An effectively managed and properly equipped fleet of patrol vehicles
  • Specially selected personnel to staff the Unit
  • Highly trained and dedicated cadre of patrol officers
  • Evidence-based and intelligence-driven allocation and deployment of
  • patrol units
  • Standard response times in keeping with international best practices
  • Utilization of GPS technology to facilitate computer-aided dispatch
  • (CAD) and automatic vehicle locator (AVL)

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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