IF YOU want to die foolishly in gang warfare, at least let others benefit from your death by organ donation or life insurance payout, residents attending a police town meeting in East Port of Spain were advised by a senior police officer and one of their own neighbours.
The meeting was at Mango Rose on Piccadilly Street. Port of Spain Division Snr Supt Floris Hodge-Griffith, clearly fed up of the ongoing murder spate, related her despair at seeing morgues and mortuaries filled with dead young men.
She said blood was gushing from their bodies, even as people elsewhere scampered to pay bribes to buy blood for life-saving surgery. Likewise, the corpses of the deceased contained healthy organs that many patients would have been happy to have received in an organ transplant.
“I tell the little fellows, sign a document to donate your organs,” she related of her tactic to try to shock errant youngsters into reality. She offered to supply a truckload of coffins, to get her message across.
A similar shock tactic was offered by resident Clare Terry.
“All parents who have children who like bad things, take out a life insurance on them.
“That way, you will have money to bury them and have money for yourself.”
Terry related that her 89-year-old mother was in the bathroom once when a stray bullet flew in. “What is going on?” she asked. “Let us get real!” She described an errant young relative, relating, “He’s not a bad boy, but he’s doing nonsense.”
Terry said while some people complained they had no work, they were getting big guns and bullets.
“All of us know somebody shooting at somebody, but we are holding it in. If you have a son doing stupidity, expose him! Otherwise you will have to bury him and everybody has to put up a little $100 to help with the funeral costs. We know the gunman, the thief, the snatcher.”
ACP Vincel Edwards endorsed Terry’s stance.
“We can’t do it alone as police officers. We depend on you all. We are your servants.”