If credence is to be given to Trinidad and Tobago for the legacy of 55 years of Independence, the only way citizens can accomplish it is by coming together to solve the issue of crime, according to President Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona.
“I'm not talking about perfection, as we all know a psychologist said crime is a perpetual reality but certainly it can be diminish with the collaboration and with the assistance of all in Trinidad and Tobago regardless of race, ethnicity, political affiliation, prejudice, bias, whatever group you belong to we need to get together ladies and gentlemen and get this thing right .” He continued, “People are dying, and each man’s death diminishes me. Do you think it is easy to see someone in a drain...a young man in a drain, a mother weeping over that body, and all we can say is ‘it is gang related. It is drug related.’ Let us no more treat life by that characterisation.”
Carmona delivered this message before toasting to the celebration of the 55th anniversary of Trinidad and Tobago’s Independence today at the Police Service cocktail reception, at the Police Administration Building, Port-of-Spain.
He said every life is important, renewable, and people can change before they die.
“You don’t want them to change by their deaths, we can change them when they are alive and this is why I want to commend the police youth group initiative with the excellent work they are doing.”
Carmona said TT have a lot of patriots who have displayed insurmountable character in making the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of this beloved county, and it hurt his soul that this reality is lost on the general populist who feel that one bad orange spoils the whole bag of oranges.
He said from his experience for more than 30 years, he has met officers of resilient calibre, character heart, vision and commitment.
“Sometimes I do greave quietly when police officers are marline by the community that we have. I am not saying it is a perfect world in this democracy in 55 years, there is human social dysfunction. Sometimes we don’t get it right, but it do not mean we don’t want to get it right and in that regard I can tell you that there are officers in this present police service who are very committed to the task at hand.”
Carmona said police officers are dealing with a level of criminality that is phenomenal, and there is a need to engage more technology.
He applauded the police youth group because it have saved many youth of the nation, and also commended all the police officers who engaged in youth groups throughout the country.
“It really warms my heart when I heard the South western had the highest detection rate of over 65 per cent and the crime rate in that area was extremely low. I have to commend those officers. What is taking place in that region of Fyzabad , Siparia, Penal, is community service at work. Where the policemen are being respected by he community and they do not see the policemen as the enemy but as their friend.”
This has to do with the calibre of police officers working in that area, Carmona said more importantly the calibre of police officers continuing to work in Laventille and the East West corridor particularly in St James.
“Whether you are on the left or the right, depending on whatever political allegiance you belong to. You know what is interesting? No body is leaving Trinidad and Tobago, all those who are criticising left, right and centre, they are not leaving Trinidad and Tobago. So we all have a vested interest in peace, security and social harmony. Why don’t we get together and get something done?” He continued, “There is no need to be combated, belligerent, it is not about points. A bullet does not have a brain. A bullet is a down piece of metal. The bullet will take out its target. This is why we have to come together, this is not about politics, this is not about taking sides, left right and centre, this is about Trinidad and Tobago.”
As Carmona lift his glass to make a toast, he said, “Right on, go forward, get the job done. Small and simple. It is my great pleasure to raise this glass and toast to the health and wealth of all in Trinidad and Tobago but more particularly to the safety of our police officers. We toast in fact to their renewed energy to get the job done to the sake not for one , but for the sake of all.”