BECAUSE of the high-risk nature of their job, police officers are in line to access financial benefits if they fall ill with the covid19 virus while on duty, and their loved ones can also get help if an officer dies from the virus.
This was announced on Monday by Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith at a handing over ceremony for hand sanitisers donated by the Guardian Group at the Woodbrook Police Station. An officer who falls ill with covid19, will be able to access $10,000 to defray the cost of treatment.
The lump sum is part of a financial relief package provided by the Guardian Group for police officers who have been infected with the disease and have been admitted to the intensive care unit of a hospital. Griffith thanked Guardian Group Director Ravi Tewari for the benefits which he anticipates would give officers a greater peace of mind.
Speaking with reporters, Tewari said he understood the sacrifices police officers make and wanted to show his support for their efforts by assuring them that they would be supported if they fall ill. “This is the sort of thing that is important because it makes the police a little bit more comfortable in their already difficult job, so we are happy to do it.
“The plan itself pays a benefit of $10,000 should a police officer be admitted to the intensive care unit as a result of being diagnosed with covid19 and if, heaven forbid, that the officer dies as a result (of covid19), it will pay a further $25,000 to his beneficiary for the duration of a year in the first instance,” Tewari said.
Tewari said while he could not place an exact figure on how much has been spent to structure and set-up the plan, accountants estimate the cost as being between $700,000 to $10 million. “It’s a big reach but it all depends on the incidence rate that we will have with covid19 which we are still studying,” Tewari said.
Griffith said he was grateful for the donation and said officers on the field would be more comfortable knowing they will be supported if they fell ill. “This is exactly the things that we need for the officers who are out there on the forefront. This is what we need for the family members of police officers who know their loved ones are putting their lives on the line on a daily basis doing what is required for this country and this is the type of appreciation and support that we really need.
“It will assist the police, it may not prevent anything from happening but it will provide a cushion, some degree of support if heaven forbid something happens because the police are at a high risk on a daily basis out there,” Griffith said.
He also noted that over the past 18 months, public support for the police has gradually improved from 14 per cent to 30 per cent according to a recent poll and thanked officers for their sacrifice and selflessness and the private sector for their support.
The ceremony also marked the handing over of hand sanitiser dispensers to each of the 77 police stations in TT, which will be installed over the next few days.