Cabinet considers $20M buyout for cops’ leave
Saturday, January 19 2008
GOVERNMENT would have to find at least $20 million to “buy out” the leave of 120 First Division police officers of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service. Last week Thursday, Minister of National Security Martin Joseph took a proposal to Cabinet for Government to “buy out” the leave of all first division officers, in an attempt to deal with the manpower shortage in the Police Service.
First Division officers are those from the rank of Assistant Superintendents, Superintendents, Senior Superintendents, Assistant Commissioners, Deputy Commis-sioners and the Commissioner.
Newsday learned that the proposal was discussed at several weekly Commissioner meetings and at the end of last year a firm decision was taken to send a proposal to the Minister of National Security. In early January, Police Commissioner Trevor Paul took the proposal to Minister Joseph.
Yesterday, Deputy Police Commissioner in charge of Crime, Gilbert Reyes, confirmed that the first division officers had all agreed to the proposal for their leave to be bought by Government.
High ranking officers claimed in the proposal that the service will be disrupted if some of the officers go on leave because of the critical manpower shortage. Sources revealed that Minister Joseph was given the green light to proceed with the recommendation and submit a budget for the purchase of the leave of all the first division officers.
He will present this budget to Cabinet next Thursday. Some First Division officers have accumulated leave up to two years. Yesterday, President of the Police Second Division, Cpl Emrol Bruce told Newsday that the Second Division which comprises more than 75 percent of the Police Service has expressed interest in having leave purchased, but Government has not even entertained this proposal.
He said that officers in his division are the ones who matter and they are the ones who carry out duties in charge rooms, do foot and mobile patrols, respond to distress calls, carry out raids, searches and other key aspects of policing, and it is these officers who should be retained and not allowed to go on any long leave, in the interest of the service.
“This is why some of the crime initiatives will fail because the people who are responsible for the Police Service are not consulting with the rank and file,” said Cpl Bruce.
He added that with half of the service on leave, the manpower crisis remains. The service has 6,000 police officers and currently, more than half are on sick leave, accumulated leave, study leave and other special leave.
PNM and every nigga solution to any problem.
Fix it wid money. Wa d fock. We have plenty.
Just think when there is none, wa dey go do.....