Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 19th 2017 Contents Sunday, February 19, 2017 guardian.co.tt
In addition to a low detection
rate, errant officers, and rising
homicide figures, one of the is-
sues currently affecting the Po-
lice Service is the lack of trust
and confidence by members of
It is a relationship which Acting
Commissioner of Police Stephen
Williams has repeatedly expressed
hope in improving and which some
members of the public have seen
In a 2014 interview with the Sun-
day Guardian, Williams said one of
the things which impacted the de-
tection rate had to do with lack of
public confidence and trust, and
sharing information freely with the
"The police have had basically a
challenge with their relationship
with the public," Williams said.
However, as the Police Service
continues to clean up its image, with
more and more officers facing the
law for criminal activities, the re-
lationship with the public in many
cases has seen improvement, with
less stories of a delayed response
from officers and more social me-
dia posts of officers going beyond
to assist the public.
In its ongoing series, Eyes on
Public Service, the Sunday Guard-
ian visited two police stations on
February 5--a Sunday---and followed
the story of a single mother as she
reported a case of abuse against her
Mom takes son to
station to report abuse
Around 10.40 am, the mother car-
ried her ten-year-old son to the St
James Police Station to report abuse
she had discovered the night before.
The boy and his siblings were in their
father's custody at the time.
She walked up to the counter,
where a female police officer stood
talking to a male colleague, while
her son sat on a chair which showed
signs of wear and tear and dirt.
The bathrooms at the station need
cleaning and a lock is broken.
Motioning for the officer's atten-
tion, she explained that she would
like to make a report regarding her
The female officer responded that
the report could not be made at the
St James Police Station, as the inci-
dent had occurred in the East.
Leaning on the dusty counter, the
mother told the woman she had ac-
tually gotten help from the St James
police the night before when she had
been concerned about her children's
"You need to come back later this
evening when the officer you spoke
to comes in. He will come in at 6 pm,"
the police offer told the concerned
The mother, who spoke to the
Sunday Guardian, said she thought
a crime could be reported in any po-
At this point, the female officer
called the corporal on duty and the
mother was asked to retell her story.
"We can't deal with that here, you
know," the new officer said, leaning
over the dusty counter in the drab
Telling the mother she was wast-
ing time, the officer said there was
nothing that could be done in St
James and directed the woman to
go to east Trinidad.
Immediately after, the woman told
the Sunday Guardian she felt like she
was not being taken seriously.
"Honestly, I was very frustrated
over the situation with my son but
it felt like they were trying to avoid
getting involved. It felt like they
didn't care and didn't want to help."
Still, the mother started heading
East to the police station she was
directed to when she received a call
from a friend, who directed her to
the Maloney Police Station as it
housed a child protection unit.
Walking in to the brightly-lit and
clean blue building, the mother
walked to the desk and related her
story to the female officer who sat
facing the glass doors.
She was asked to sit and within 15
minutes, a plain-clothes female of-
ficer invited her into a private room
to listen to her report.
The officer, who had already been
taking a report from another par-
ent, listened intently, then asked the
mother to wait.
Within half an hour, the mother
was in a private room with her son
making an official report.
While the mother sat in the room
with her son and the officer, a man
was brought into the station wear-
ing a vest, slippers, and knee-length
He passed the bright blue chairs
and went behind the counter, all the
while arguing with officers about his
lack of a driver's licence.
As the man made excuse after
excuse, including an appeal for his
wife and five children, officers pa-
tiently and calmly questioned him,
responding to his antics without
once getting agitated.
A woman walks to the counter and
asks the officer to change a 20 dollar
bill so she can make a purchase from
the vending machine.
The officer, who denied having
enough change to trade for the $20,
instead pulled a five dollar bill from
his pocket and handed it over to her.
The Maloney Police Station,
which is well kept and clean, was
opened in July 2015. The St James
Police Station, much older and
shabbier, seemed to have an effect
on not only the police officer's mo-
rale, but their ability to positively
interact with the public.
The Maloney Police Station along
Flamingo Boulevard, Maloney
Gardens. PHOTO: AYANNA KINSALE
A tale of two police stations
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