National Security Minister, Stuart Young yesterday declared that Government and the police are united to win the war against crime.
Young made this declaration at a graduation ceremony for 199 municipal police officers at the National Academy for the Performing Arts, Port of Spain.
His comments came 24 hours after police killed three men in a shootout in Arima. Later on Tuesday, police seized a cache of stolen vehicles, drugs, arms and ammunition in Pleasantville. Young said he and Police Commissioner Gary Griffith have been in office for the last four months and during that time, “I don’t think there has been a single civic-minded citizen in TT who can deny that there has been a resurgence in our policing.”
Contrary to claims being made by some people, Young said, “Commissioner Griffith and I are working extremely well together.”
He declared, “This is the marker to send that signal to those out there who are trying to drive a wedge between the executive and the Police Service: not under my watch.”
He identified some of those people as current, failed and wannabe politicians.
He told his audience, “The issues of national security and the particulars of what we are doing are not for public consumption. We have enough difficulty with the bad guys out there, they don’t need to know what we are doing.”
However, he reiterated Griffith’s mantra that “intelligence-driven operations is now the order of the day.”
Saying all of the country’s national security agencies are working more closely together, Young said criminals should be warned: “Touch one, touch all.”
He and other security heads are awake at 3 am while operations are under way and interact as equals, with him providing policy and resources, he said.
“That is not a figment of my imagination. That’s real.”
Contrary to what people think of him, Young said, “I am a very quiet, meticulous and thoughtful individual. I don’t waste words.” Nor will he be “drawn into the desire for bacchanal and the desire for confusion.”
As someone who does not need to “run down the spotlight and grab the attention,” Young said, “In the coming months, you will see more and more results, and you will not hear me talking about them.”
He pointed out that his silence “is not to be taken as an acceptance of some of the stupidity that is being spoken out there.”
Young praised the new municipal police officers as “our front line in the communities” and told them their efforts will be key to what can be done on the ground in every single community to maintain law and order.
Young also urged the new officers not to fall prey to corruption and uphold the oaths they had taken.
Rural Development and Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein said this batch of officers represented a promise by the Prime Minister to have 200 municipal police officers in Port of Spain and 100 officers in the other 13 local government corporations. By mid-January or February, he said, another batch of officers will graduate from the municipal police training academy.