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After three major incidents in less than two weeks which have painted the T&T Police Service (TTPS) in a negative light, acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams is asking the country to instead focus on the positive things taking place within the organisation.
And those positive things are that the police are making arrests and detecting crime, Williams said yesterday during the TTPS’ 95th Sports and Family Day at the Police Academy Grounds, St James.
Two Wednesdays ago, two police officers were involved in a gunfight with each other at Grand Bazaar, Valsayn, outside the Ruby Tuesday restaurant which was caught on tape. One of the officers involved in the incident, Sgt Darryl Honore, who was shot twice in the abdomen, eventually succumbed to his injuries at the hospital and was laid to rest on Friday.
Two days after the shoot-out, selfie photographs of a scantily clad woman in a senior police officer’s’s jacket in a police station surfaced online. ASP Michael Sooker is currently on suspension pending an investigation into that incident.
And on Thursday, the T&T Guardian exclusively published an article which focused on a music video which featured a singer smoking a marijuana joint while seated on the bonnet of what appeared to be a marked police vehicle. The Professional Standards Bureau (PSB) has launched an investigation into the Bunnin It video and the alleged appearance of the marked police vehicle in it.
Yesterday, Williams said, “There have been three incidents which stand out in the public’s domain and whilst those three incidents stand out to, if you want to say tarnish the image of the organisation, there are many, many positive events for which I would encourage the media to carry.
“Issues around police arrests, issues around crime detection, issues around the positive side of this nation and we need to build this nation and focus on those positives.”
Williams said like “every single police organisation across the world,” the TTPS has challenges.
But despite it all, he said morale within the organisation remains high and this was evident yesterday with the participation at the sports day.
“The morale is high, you capture it, it is spoken here loud and clear, police officers are out here you see how happy they are and this is just a reflection of the organisation, so we will continue to lift the organisation. It is not a perfect organisation and there is none in the entire country and in the world,” Williams said.
“But as an organisation we will continue to focus whenever there are situations of errant officers, we will address it in a timely manner and that is exactly what we have done in these particular instances to effectively address the situation in a timely manner.”
He said said investigations in the three incidents remain ongoing.
“The media will surely be updated as the investigations progress, but as I shared with you the issue is about there are so many great things happening in this country and we need to be able to recognise them, promote them and encourage them and I would suggest that the media assists us, the police service and assist the rest of the nation in so doing,” he said.
“So I want to thank you for all that you have done and you have been doing for us and I want to encourage you to continue to do the good work that you have been doing and I want to give you the assurance that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service has the majority of its officers as law-abiding officers who are working day and night to ensure Trinidad and Tobago is a safe place.”
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