Hinds: Finance Bill incentives will boost police morale

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Police on patrol at Independence Square, Port of Spain during the launch of the Christmas anti-crime plan on Friday. Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

Recognising the dangers and sacrifices the protective services face in securing the country, National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds said provisions included in the Finance No 2 Bill of 2022 would bring more comfort and reassurance to law enforcement officers.

Clause two of the bill would seek to amend the defence pensions terminal and other grants regulation to allow the payment of the interim pension of $3,500 per month to officers who retired compulsorily from the defence force.

Clause three would amend the police service regulations under the Police Service Act to allow for the payment of $3,500 to officers who retired compulsorily.

Speaking during a debate on the bill in the Lower House on Friday, Hinds referred to the seizure of a quantity of camouflage clothing, bulletproof vests and high-calibre ammunition in Morvant on Thursday. He said members of the protective services deserved to be paid reasonably for their efforts and said the bill would give officers an added push to do their jobs.

“The point I am making is that these officers need, like any worker or human person, to be motivated to be encouraged, to be willing to go the extra, dangerous mile and to know that their welfare is being considered by the government and people of TT.

“It is that, I contend, is so important about the measures in front of us today, because we can’t pay the police, we can’t pay the soldiers for the dangers they face and the work they are called upon to do.

“A lot of it has to do with morale, a lot of it has to do with patriotism.

“A lot has to do with the rectitude of the moral position of right against wrong and therefore these intangible, psychological influences are bolstered by the knowledge that the society cares and appreciates the work that they do.”

Hinds added that provisions aimed at bringing greater financial stability to officers in the protective services would also dissuade officers from accepting bribes.

“There are those who believe that it is a need for greater income that prompts some public officers to become corrupt and to accept the bribes of those who offer them.

“These measures at least in part renders that argument a feeble one.”

Hinds said an assistant commissioner of police recently revealed to him that a large quantity of copper wire, believed to be equipment stolen from the Telecommunications Services of TT (TSTT), was found during a search of a shipping container due to be sent abroad, and said such discoveries showed the importance of the protective services.