OPPOSITION Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar says while it is unacceptable that some police officers still have not received back pay, protesting by staying away from Carnival duties is not the right way.
She urged officers to come out and keep the country safe.
As of February 5, Police Social and Welfare Association head ASP Gideon told Newsday that 53 per cent of regular officers had received back pay.
There were rumours that some officers threatened to stay away from Carnival duties to express dissatisfaction with this. However, Carnival alternate gold commander ACP Winston Maharaj has since denied this.
Speaking at a public meeting in San Juan on Monday night, Persad-Bissessar told the officers: "Your citizens need you out there on the streets."
She said while there are "a few bad apples and oranges" in the police service, most officers are hardworking.
"Let us thank those officers as we ask them to come out to work in this Carnival season. We have visitors for Carnival, we have our sons and daughters who will be out there enjoying their youth, and the young at heart…"
She assured the officers the UNC would remember they "put citizens in front of their own needs."
She said she would ensure they are protected under the next UNC government.
"Together, after this general election, my government and our protectors in law enforcement will bring back security to Trinidad and Tobago."
She said she "feels it" for police as the four per cent offer related to wage negotiations was insulting.
"We feel your pain…the government doesn’t understand or care about you. We will take care of you. We will ensure you get your pay increases.
"Remember we had a time in office when we couldn’t conclude the negotiations for the police pay? What did I do? What did my government do? We gave everyone cold, hard cash – $1,000. And after that, we went on to increase their pay."
In addition, she said she will get firearm licenses for members of the defence force, prison service and police so they can protect themselves after they leave their workplace.