Erla Harewood-Christopher, Commissioner of Police (COP), feels that this country is battling an inherent evil and that without supernatural intervention, her anti-crime efforts, including lowering murders, will fail.
Speaking to members of the Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CCIC) at Signature Hall in Longdenville, Chaguanas, yesterday, Harewood-Christopher stated that reducing the murder rate is still “a bit beyond” the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service’s capabilities (TTPS). As a result, she requested assistance from on high.
Harewood-Christopher noted, “An evil has spread over the land and we must recognize, those of you who are spiritually inclined, you must recognize that this is beyond the physical and unless we seek the intervention of that greater spirit, whatever we may call him, we know we have different religions, so who will call him God, who will call him Allah, or Krishna, all of us, if not all of us, 99 percent of us believe in a superior being and we need to invoke the help of that being if we need to really bring Trinidad and Tobago back to that place where we want it to be.”
She continued, “Because the police can come up with whatever strategy, but unless we enlist the help of God, we will be working in vain.”
The Commissioner of police, who had just recently vowed to make a significant dent in homicides by June of this year, also described to the audience the TTPS’s accomplishments this year and the steps she planned to implement.
“For this year alone, we have already recovered, as of the day before yesterday (Monday), 126 illegal weapons and over about three thousand rounds of ammunition. If you think of ammunition as one round of ammunition can kill someone, how many lives would have been saved or protected?”
According to Harewood- Christopher, there will also be a greater emphasis on international crime, improving police intelligence capabilities, utilizing technology to assist police operations, and boosting police credibility.
“We know we can’t get your support unless you trust us,” the COP added, stressing a zero-tolerance policy for police misconduct and corruption.
“I want the citizens to know and feel secure that they can report, and I know in Central Division for one, a number of officers have been arrested and charged for corruption, so we are not afraid and we will not stop arresting our own if it becomes necessary.”
She also stated to the crowd, most of whom were Chaguanas company owners, that her objective is to “conduct a lot of reflection and to solve our management and supervisory problem.”
The COP remarked, “I want to have officers who are able, I want an organization that is agile, that is responsive to community and national needs, an organization that is efficient, effective and, of course, professional”.
Harewood-Christopher emphasized that police will also work on eliminating criminal gangs.
“Criminal gangs and drugs have been responsible for 65 percent of the drugs and murders in T&T.”
The COP also stated that she is from Central and intends to join the Cunupia Business Association in order to secure Central and the rest of T&T. She also urged folks to follow the letter of the law.
Professor Ramesh Deosaran, a criminologist, was present and talked with Guardian Media after the CoP’s presentation.
Deosaran praised Harewood-presentation. Christopher He did, however, have some counsel for her.
“She and the Police Service have to recognize that they need to do their actions down on earth and God will help those who help themselves.”