LAUREL V WILLIAMS
POLICE from the South Western Division who are unhappy about the introduction of polygraph tests proposed by Commissioner Gary Griffith will have their say on the issue. A meeting has been organised for Saturday at the South Oropouche Police Station with Griffith and police who are saying the test is not a scientific method and is not 100 per cent accurate.
President of the Police and Social Welfare Association Insp Michael Seales on Thursday encouraged the police to attend the meeting and to take the test.
"When that meeting takes place, there will be a better understanding of what is actually happening. I also encourage them to not just say who is involved in rogue activities. Give the CoP the names of the people so that this will not repeat itself," Seales told Newsday.
Some of the aggrieved officers feel they are being unfairly targeted for opposing the test, with others saying they should be receiving recognition and reward for their hard work.
Seales, however, said the division was not being targeted in any way whatsoever.
"All the divisions at some point will be subjected to the test. The association will clamour to make sure it is a broad-brush approach to have it done to every person — whether in the first or second division. If anything comes out negative like being unfairly treated with the test, then the association would be triggered."
Some officers also said they intend to leave the police association, claiming it has refused to meet with them. In response, Seales said, "It is a choice to be a member. If someone feels unhappy with the association and wants to leave, he can do so. He/she could wait for the next election and vote for a person of his/her choice."
One officer told Newsday: "I have done things for the benefit of this police service and not for my personal enrichment, at the expense of family and health," one officer told Newsday. Another described the move as demotivating and demoralising especially for those who are overworked, lacked manpower and starved of resources. "We lack manpower and police vehicles, some police even repair police vehicles out of their own pockets to serve the needs of the public."
Others felt the division had a successful year last year. The division had the overall highest detection rate for all serious crimes in the service.
But they believe it is being starved of resources.
Police told Newsday the South Western division is not corrupt. They said the investigative bodies know the "bad eggs" in the service and have refused, for years, to act against corrupt practices.