Chief Secretary: Special police units in Tobago from May 27

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine. – File photo

SPECIALISED police units will be based in Tobago from May 27.

THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine made the revelation on the Tobago Updates morning show on May 21, having met with Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Tobago, Collis Hazel along with representatives of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force on May 20.

That conversation, he said, was about rolling out a strategy of bringing specialist police units from Trinidad to Tobago.

“Usually, the strategy is whenever we see a surge, we bring a crew from Trinidad, hot up the place and then they return.”

Now, he said, the time had come for those units to be based in Tobago.

He said for that to happen, the THA must provide accommodation and transport.

He said there were also plans for Defence Force members stationed at Camp Signal Hill to make patrols.

“In the past, we use to benefit from community comfort patrol. The challenge…is that they weren’t necessarily precepted. They did not carry arms with them and so their own safety became a challenge and so utilising the defence force to do the patrols around the island means that we are coming with some force behind that.”

He said the reason for the patrols is to create a greater sense of confidence as crime fighting must happen on several fronts: apprehending and solving; prevention; and creating confidence in the population.

He said action would take place almost immediately where that is concerned.

He had a message of hope to Tobagonians, saying the Tobago that he knows is “a very resilient community, an island community that can pass through hell and come away with a slice of heaven, an island community that understands how to make the best use of whatever little resources is available.

“This is the island that at one time appreciated our spirituality and understood that we must remain close to God if we are to remain safe and successful.

“In fact at one time, it was joked about that the most traffic in Tobago occurred on a Sunday morning when people were just trying to go to church.

“A lot of that has changed – progress and modernity has caused families and individuals to move away from some of our moral foundations and perhaps this is a time for recentring and refocusing and reshuffling of hearts, reshuffling of minds and reshuffling of morals.”

He said perhaps this is a time for introspection.

“For each us to sit and look inward and ask ourselves, ‘What can I do to help save my island and how can I do it better?’

“But here is the good news: Tobago, our paradise has not been lost. Our paradise is still here. We still have the greatest little island on the planet that we can work with and for that to remain, it means that all hands must be on deck.”

He added: “It is not Farley and them thing, it is not Farley police force or a Farley government, it is not Farley and friends thing – it is about how all of us as a collective can contribute towards making this island even better.”