What do some police officers in T&T have in common with mannequins? The ability to stand pretty still while simultaneously executing the difficult task of doing absolutely nothing. Now don’t get me wrong, I have some friends in the Police Service who are quite passionate about their jobs. There is one female officer I went to school with who is connected to the patrol branch downtown, she is well known on Frederick Street. Missy doh make joke with errant motorists and illegal vendors. I remember once I was walking down Frederick street and I saw her in action dealing with the illegal vendors....can you believe my heart actually went out a little to the vendors.
But the law is the law and it must be upheld. Despite there being officers like my friend mentioned above, there are just too many lazy mediocre police men and women in the service. While I believe criminals should be solely held accountable for their nefarious actions, I believe the overall mediocre performance of T&T’s Police Service plays a significant role in actually boosting the confidence of T&T’s criminals. Criminals commit crimes with the confidence that the police will respond nonchalantly to investigating and apprehending them for their miss-deeds. It is this reluctance of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service to deal with minor offenders that is fostering a feeling of comfort amongst the criminals in this country and I have photos to prove such.
Decay in society and the disrespect shown for the rule of law does not begin with violent crime it begins with the committing of and the allowing of small crimes. Small crimes such as littering, speeding, parking badly, drinking and driving are all committed in abundance in this country and certain police officers are notorious for turning a blind eye to their practice. As a matter of fact, dealing with petty offenders in New York City was one of the ways that city was able to turn around its rising crime rate. Dealing with petty offenders prevented them from branching off to becoming seasoned offenders. Regular road blocks and dealing with reckless drivers and persons committing other petty transgressions was also one of the ways New York City was able to apprehend some of their seasoned criminals as seasoned criminals are often repeat offenders of petty crimes.
This week I was having lunch with a friend upstairs Excellent City Centre, and we were sitting at the outer balcony were you have an overhead view of Fredrick Street. Low and behold there was this black car parked directly in front of a fire hydrant and two ‘stand still’ police officers standing outside Aboutique Mall in full view of this clear breach of the law. According to the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act it is unlawful to park within three (3) metres of a fire hydrant, but here is this motorist parked directly in front of a fire hydrant in full view of T&T’s finest who do absolutely nothing.
My friend and I were upstairs Excellent Stores for approximately forty five minutes and those officers stood there for close to 20 minutes before walking away leaving the vehicle still on spot. So if there was a fire and the Fire Services had to utilize that hydrant what would have been the situation? If I were the Fire Officer I know the answer, the hose was passing straight over that vehicle scratching paint job and windscreen! When our law enforcement officers fail to even address little transgressions like these on a daily basis what they are indirectly doing is espousing the chronic lawlessness currently plaguing our society. I do hope that the senior police officers take note of this mediocrity that persists amongst its rank and file and addresses it in an appropriate manner.