JUST as members of the protective services and veterans are given priority treatment in the US, the Commissioner of Police hopes local police can benefit similarly through the “I Support Our Service” (ISOS) campaign.
At the southern launch of the campaign at Breezeway, South Park Mall in Tarouba yesterday, Gary Griffith said it is to recognise and thank them for their dedication to duty. Some of these treatments include flight priority and special discounts on items.
“They are willing to give their lives to country. They are willing to give their lives, their most ultimate possession, to protect a stranger. It is always easy for people to criticise and condemn. That is what we are seeing for far too long, many people attack and undermine the police service,” Griffith said.
He also called on the business community to provide tokens as a reward mechanism for law-abiding citizens.
The police service, Griffith said, is not perfect just as no one is. But systems are being put in place to weed out rogue elements.
Some of these are polygraph and drug testing and finding systems to make officers accountable and be disciplined. People tend to overlook and undermine the positives from police and use social media to voice their opinions, Griffith said.
“If the police do something great, one would yes but what about this what about that. It is always easy to criticise, condemn, ridicule and undermine. That type of Trini culture we are trying to change in the TTPS.” ISOS was launched last year in Port of Spain by the Police Service and the Police Service’s Social and Welfare Association.
“ISOS is just a start of things to come. We also intend to launch the Commissioner Cup whereby we try to use sports to get young people to turn away from a life of crime. We also would have Street Talk, which is similar to NYPD’s CeasedFire model.” CeaseFire uses prevention, intervention and community-mobilisation strategies to reduce shootings and killings.
Among the people attending the launch yesterday, were San Fernando mayor Junia Regrello, CEO of South Park Anthony Rahael, Police Association president Micheal Seales and Snr Supt Zamsheed Mohammed and other police from Southern Division. Griffith urged gang members to become team players and role model in society saying the so-called gang leaders care only about themselves.
During his visit to different areas, he saw leaders’ homes in the heart of these hot spot areas with swimming pools larger than “all of ours combined.”
“They have top of the line fixtures in their homes. They use young men for their personal and selfish agenda. The so-called gang leaders do not care about your society.” The police service would be going into these areas “to invade yes, but without weapons.” Police would be handshaking hands with members of these communities and speak to residents about how they can work together to reduce and solve crimes. President of Eastern Credit Union Wayne Estrada, the former policeman, gave Griffith a cheque for $25,000 in support of the campaign.