|DON’T FIRE ME |
NALINEE SEELAL Friday, August 11 2017
SUSPENDED from work without pay, thrown out of her apartment home by her landlord, the 37-year-old pregnant SRP at the centre of a controversy regarding inappropriate photos uploaded to social media, yesterday pleaded with president of the Police Social Welfare Association Inspector Michael Seales to assist her in not being fired from her job.
During a one-hour meeting with Seales, the officer who has two years service and is the mother of a seven-year-old daughter, expressed concern over a decision by her landlord to evict her because of the adverse publicity. Coupled with that, the SRP believes with the loss of income during the investigation, she will not be able to take care of her daughter and herself, especially as she is in the first trimester of her pregnancy.
Newsday understands the controversial photos were taken between October and December following a function at the London Street, Port of Spain branch of the Office of Law Enforcement and Policy (OLEP).
The photos were taken by a male colleague as a joke and that colleague later claimed he lost his phone last week. He suggests that whoever found the phone uploaded the photos to social media where it quickly went viral.
However, the SRP is questioning the entire situation where the photos were leaked and while she accepts she should receive some form of punishment, she does not feel that dismissal is the right thing. Yesterday, following the meeting with the SRP, Seales told Newsday: “The association met and had discussions with the SRP.
He said the SRP presented her suspension letter from Acting Commissioner Stephen Williams and the wording was tantamount to telling her that she has been constructively dismissed, because the Commissioner has stopped her from being called out for duty.
“Because of that, it means the SRP would not get any income during the course of the investigation until the determination of a tribunal against her.
This is much different from regular police officers who would get half or three-quarter pay during such an investigation,” Seales said.
He added that the Association will write Commissioner Williams asking him to consider some of the factors the SRP has indicated with the view of him reconsidering his decision (to suspend) on humanitarian grounds.
He pointed out that the officer is inconsolable. Newsday understands the SRP is being investigated for her conduct and the officer who took the photos has been asked to submit a full report.