Police Commissioner Gary Griffith responded to Opposition MP for Naparima Rodney Charles' concerns over the procurement of armoured vehicles saying such resources were necessary in quickly and effectively treating with hostage situations, civil unrest and other national security concerns.
Speaking with Newsday, Griffith said he was disappointed in Charles' remarks and said armoured vehicles would go a long way in saving the lives of police and said the procurement process for three armoured personnel carriers (APCs) have already been finalised and are expected to be brought to Trinidad before the end of 2019.
"I am very disappointed that we have members of Parliament that just do not read, they don't understand that almost every elite police unit in the world has armoured personnel carriers. In the 1990 (coup) almost 30 years ago we had APCs so when I hear politicians questioning the relevance of an armoured personnel carrier, were fully aware of a need to have them."
He said having the vehicles would enhance the success of certain operations while protecting officers from gunfire in hotspot areas and said it was something considered best practised by international law enforcement agencies.
"If police officers have to go in volatile areas where gang members may have 5.56 and 7.62 mm rounds, would people prefer the officers to go on a patrol in a (Nissan) Wingroad or a pickup? The officers need to be protected, this will ensure that no street, block or corner belongs to criminal elements."
Griffith said in considering a company to buy the APCs, cost and the time for delivery were among the top priorities.