Editorial

Cautious Optimism With National Security Minister’s Stance

Cautious Optimism With National Security Minister’s Stance

The public’s chastising of the Police Service has been fast and furious over the past couple weeks, adding to the criticism it has received aplenty in the past and the generally unflattering reputation it carries.  We don’t think that this public disenchantment comes as undeserving either, at least from the bigger perspective. Countless times we have aired our views on controversial matters pertaining to the service, and we believe adamantly that the general citizenry holds  similar opinions.

The police love triangle shootout, the scantily-clad woman in police garb and the police vehicle appearing in a music video are just the latest controversial episodes to hit an already rickety service. And while we can complain, wail, lament and criticize from now ‘til thy Kingdom come, action needs to be taken to at least veer the service in the right direction.

It is on this note that we welcome openly the latest initiative by Minister of National Security, Edmund Dillon. According to one daily newspaper, since last December, the Minister has directed the Strategic Services Agency to monitor the activities of officers while on the job. We have advocated time and time again for the use of technology across the board, for crime fighting in the least. But with a third world T&T ages behind in things like DNA testing towards crime detection, our expectations were never excessively high. According to the report though, there is much to be concerned about. Even though corruption within the service may not be startling, the anonymous SSA source said the dirt on corrupt police officers would still shock us.

If we are to believe the newspaper report, then imagine the body that is vested with the responsibility to protect and serve is seemingly one and the same with the criminals. Again, no surprise but still immensely scary. It is a description we would have reserved for the drug mafia countries like Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela. Let that sink in.

We hope this strict approach by the Minister yields rewards, the first of which would be to weed out at least some of the bad apples that make the entire service look bad and overshadow the work of good officers. We also hope that this is one of many injections of technology into crime fighting that would also keep officers on their best behavior. Body cams, GPS for vehicles and proper accountability are just some of the things that could be introduced to purge the system and get us out of this rut we find ourselves in.

Kudos to you, Mr. Minister. Headstrong. Hopefully.

Web Master

May 15th, 2018

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