Top cop commends officers for Carnival service

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Commissioner of Police Erla Harewood-Christopher – File photo by Lincoln Holder

Police Commissioner Erla Harewood-Christopher has commended police officers who turned out for duty during the Carnival period.

She said the welfare of officers has always been the service’s top priority.

In a release on February 17, Harewood-Christopher said Carnival is a fixed event on Trinidad and Tobago’s calendar of events.

“An event of this magnitude demands critical planning, astute leadership among the ranks and above all, the critical management of the organisation’s most valuable asset, its human resource.

“The performance of officers on duty during this period was quite commendable and this was acknowledged in several quarters, locally and internationally. As Commissioner of Police, I too, commend all officers who turned out for duty and proudly represented the organisation.”

She said operational excellence and occupational health and wellness were strategic objectives in the service’s 2022 to 2024 strategic and operational plans, which made the welfare of officers a top priority.

“It is for this reason that all officers who perform duties during the Carnival period are granted four days compensatory leave and in the case of special reserve officers, they are granted monetary compensation. The service is committed to the welfare of its officers and will continue to explore opportunities to implement initiatives that will redound to their benefit.

“The service said managing events of this magnitude was challenging and placed a heavy demand on the organisation’s human resources, while also having to manage the daily challenges to safety and security, and the various categories of threats and risks.

“While managing the Carnival activities, we are also simultaneously required to ensure essential law enforcement to the rest of the jurisdiction and the protection of critical national plant and infrastructure.

“This responsibility requires the careful deployment of our available manpower as there cannot be any compromise of our services in any area.

“While it is the norm to not have a hundred percent turnout of officers for duty, we have always managed the availability of officers as a critical success factor in our operations.”

Harewood-Christoper also said,“I am committed to the welfare of our officers and I look forward to constructive dialogue with the representative body, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Social and Welfare Association to agree and partner with us to implement initiatives that will redound to the benefit of the officers.

“As an administration, we will continue to routinely review our operational plans and improve on areas where there is an opportunity for us to do so. I wish to assure all concerned that the TTPS remains a caring, competent, and committed organization focused on providing consistent high-quality services to all our stakeholders.”

The commissioner’s statements followed reported complaints by officers that they were subjected to arduous working conditions on Carnival Monday and Tuesday.