Hinds to new SRPs: Do not yield to foolish temptation

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Fitzgerald Hinds –

ADMITTING that some law enforcement officers go rogue, the National Security Minister urged 49 newly-recruited special reserve police (SRP) officers to always do the right thing, on and off duty, and not be tempted otherwise.

“It pains my heart, as a man, a father, as a former police officer and certainly as Minister of National Security when I hear or read about the weakness, the frailty, displayed by some of us law enforcement personnel yielding to foolish temptations,” Minister Fitzgerald Hinds said.

Some of these actions breached the criminal laws, he added.

Hinds delivered the feature address at a graduation ceremony for SRPs at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts, San Fernando, on Wednesday.

He pleaded with recruits to “yield not the temptation.”

“Do what your soul tells you is the right thing to do. Remember the words of your mother, father, grandmothers and certainly your instructors. Listen to your conscience, minute by minute, as you make decisions in the execution of your duties. Do it right and all will be well,” he told the SRPs.

Hinds recalled joining the police service in 1976 with one o-level pass. He said he took time to continue to develop himself through studies.

He encouraged the officers to do the same in any field they chose. He now holds a master’s degree in law.

“Today policing, unlike in my days, requires skill sets across the board in all disciplines— theology, psychology, not only the obvious criminology and law and the science of DNA, fingerprinting and photography.”

The SRPs each got a diploma in general policing (level one). The officers are from the first batch of 2022.

He told them the job was no walk in the park and that citizens depended on them to protect against criminals and criminality.

“As minister and as a citizen, I have found that a large part of the challenges we face in TT is as a direct result of the fact that there are too many of us who are too happy to get our names on a payroll and do not want to do work, ” Hinds said.

If all law enforcement officers work to the optimum levels they are expected to do in spirit and truth, Hinds said, the country would be richer, better and safer.

WPC Crystal Lewis of the Parliamentary police unit delivered the valedictory speech and shared fond memories from training over the past 14 weeks.

Two graduands, PCs Emmanuel Thompson and Chris Mahase, entertained the gathering.

Also at the ceremony were Gale Charles, director of the Office of Law Enforcement Policy, and Brian Caesar, clerk of the Senate.