Carnival security plans discussed, Cops to get Tasers & Pepper Spray

Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith has re­vealed the T&T Po­lice Ser­vice an­ti-crime mea­sures for the Car­ni­val sea­son to of­fi­cials of the Na­tion­al Car­ni­val Com­mis­sion (NCC).

A press re­lease is­sued by the TTPS cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions unit yes­ter­day af­ter­noon stat­ed that the plans were dis­cussed as Grif­fith toured the fa­cil­i­ties at the Queen’s Park Sa­van­nah. 

While the re­lease stat­ed that Grif­fith said that the Na­tion­al Op­er­a­tions Cen­tre will be ac­ti­vat­ed to as­sist in man­ag­ing safe­ty and se­cu­ri­ty dur­ing the sea­son, it gave no fur­ther de­tails of oth­er planned mea­sures that were dis­cussed. 

“The strate­gies were well re­ceived by all stake­hold­ers, who ex­pressed their in­ten­tions to work close­ly with each oth­er, to en­sure that Port-of-Spain, the coun­try and all cit­i­zens are safe and se­cure for Car­ni­val 2019,” the re­lease said. 

Al­so present dur­ing the tour were NCC chair­man Win­ston “Gyp­sy” Pe­ters, NCC CEO Coll­in Lu­cas, Se­nior Supt Ethel­bert Aguilal of the Guard and Emer­gency Branch (GEB), Se­nior Supt Floris Hodge-Grif­fith of the Port-of-Spain Di­vi­sion and act­ing As­sis­tant Chief Fire Of­fi­cer Mervyn Layne.

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Members of the TT Police Service’s Emergency Response Unit will begin training next week in the use of Tasers and pepper spray, Police Commission Gary Grifith said today.

The training is expected to be completed by month’s end and the 600 selected officers will be assigned specially designed belts to hold pepper spray, a Taser, batons, a firearm and handcuffs.

Finance Minister Colm Imbert, in the 2019 budget, said the Government had agreed to purchase the belts.

When he was national security minister Griffith had strongly recommended the use of non-lethal weapons, including pepper spray and Tasers.

Griffith said, “I have seen Tasers, tested them and the next course of action is to make a selection and order but we are going to start training on how to use them. Depending on the escalation of threats, officers will utilise the items on the belt to minimise and subdue threats.”

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