North Eastern cops praised for good work, reminded: Serve with humility

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Retired Snr Supt of police Surendra Sagramsingh, left, receives an award from acting Police Commissioner McDonald Jacob during an awards ceremony for officers of the North Eastern Division in Santa Cruz on Sunday. Photo by Shane Superville

Officers of various units in the North Eastern Division were honoured for their actions on and off duty at an awards ceremony on Sunday, but were reminded to serve with humility and compassion.

Speaking at the ceremony at D Cruz Lounge, La Pastora, Santa Cruz, on Sunday, senior superintendent of the North Eastern Division Winston Maharaj thanked the officers for their service, and said he was satisfied with their performance, but more should be done to bring ease and comfort to citizens.

He admitted that officers at all ranks continued to face challenges, adding that their duty demanded that they treat all citizens with respect, noting that simply listening to the concerns and complaints of the public could go a long way towards strengthening ties with the communities they serve.

“Show respect to your citizens –and the greatest form of respect one human being can give to another is that of listening to them – and let’s face it, a person will not come to a police station to lime and have a good time.

PC Stephen Nanan, left, Kyle Andrews and Cpl Samali George pose for a picture at an awards ceremony for officers of the North Eastern Division in Santa Cruz on Sunday.
The officers assisted in rescuing a 14-year-old girl from the ledge at the Parkade car park, Richmond Street, Port of Spain, last Wednesday. Photo by Shane Superville

“They come as a last resort, they see the police as a saviour. We signed up, we joined to listen to that person and provide some assistance, some solution. That is our remit.

‘listening to someone can prevent the most extreme in the crime category from a report of a threat that can escalate to a murder.”

ACP for the Northern Division Ramnarine Samaroo also called on officers to do their best to accommodate everyone who approached them.

Referring to instances of retired officers complaining about the quality of service they received from current police officers, Samaroo called on senior officers to provide a good example for their subordinates.

He reminded officers that the quality of their service could make a big difference even after they leave the police.

“Soon we’ll have to retire and leave the service, but the standard we set here now with our junior officers is the standard we’re going to get when we are no longer members of the service and we have to come in to the police station to interact with them.

“It hurts my heart to see some of the comments being made by ex-senior officers about the treatment they received by members of the TTPS.

“I have also read where civilians come into the police station seeking redress and they don’t get the service we ought to provide.

“I don’t believe that the North Eastern Division falls in that category, but if one or two officers do, I believe after today there will be a change.”

Over 300 officers received trophies and letters of commendation which will be put on their file and assist with promotions and other special assignments.

Among the officers receiving awards were Cpl Samali George and PCs Kyle Andrews and Stephen Nanan of the North Eastern Division Task Force, who helped rescue a 14-year-old girl from the ledge of the Parkade car park, on Richmond Street, Port of Spain, last Wednesday.

Inspector Sunil Bharath, left, receives an award in excellence from ACP Ramnarine Samaroo during an awards ceremony for officers of the North Eastern Division at D Cruz Lounge, Santa Cruz, on Sunday. Photo by Shane Superville

Speaking with Newsday after the ceremony, George said he was grateful for the award and happy his actions could save someone’s life.

“The most important thing about this entire situation is that the girl is alive and safe. Our role that day as officers was to preserve her life and we’re happy we could do that.

“It’s always good to be recognised by our seniors for our work, so we are encouraged by that, and I promise that we will continue to do what we swore our oath to do.”

Another officer, PC Kevin Sampson, was also commended, with other officers, for saving the lives of two doctors who were drowning in Blanchisseuse last year.

Retired officers Surendra Sagramsingh, Wayne Dick, Jayson Forde and Terry Young also received achievement awards for their service.