Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 28th 2013 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
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Honest, loving and dedicated.
These were the words used by the three chil-
dren of murdered security guard Bert Clarke to
describe their father yesterday.
Clarke, 59, an Estate Police Asst Supt (ASP)
employed with Sentinel Security Services Ltd,
was shot dead during an armed robbery of a
money transport van in Macoya, Tunapuna,
In a telephone interview yesterday, Clarke s
son, Rondell, said his father, who was employed
with the company for more than 35 years, loved
his job and was proud of it.
"He was the hardest working man around.
No police or government minister could work
like him," Rondell said.
He said shortly after starting the job, his father
was part of the security detail for the late Amer-
ican pop icon Michael Jackson, when he visited
Trinidad in 1978.
Rondell said after receiving news of his father s
killing yesterday, he received dozens of calls
from strangers who had met and known his
father during his long career.
"My father always said no one wanted to do
security work because the pay was too small,
but it was enough for him to raise his family
and put his three children through school and
he was grateful and loyal to the company," Ron-
dell s sister Suszanna said in an e-mail sent to
the T&T Guardian yesterday.
Rondell said although his father would have
reached retirement age next year, he planned to
In an interview at the crime scene yesterday,
head of the Homicide Division, Senior Supt John
Daniel, described Clarke s killing as "unfortunate
He said the police will be working hard to
solve the robbery and apprehend Clarke s killers.
He also warned would-be criminals that the
police will be increasing their anti-crime ini-
tiatives for the rest of the year.
"I hope good sense will prevail during the
Christmas season," Daniel said.
Clarke s funeral arrangements are yet to be
finalised by his relatives.
However, traffic snarled along several
minor roads as police set up roadblocks
in East and Central to find the killers.
Investigators said more than 50 spent
shells were found on the scene, including
5.56 shells which are only used in high-
powered assault rifles.
While searching the pick-up truck,
police found the robbers had filled the
back seat with bags of cement.
"They did that to add weight to the
vehicle to stabilise it in the crash," a police
Investigators described the suspects as
"professionals" and said they believed they
took weeks to plan the heist, as it was
executed with "expert precision."
The Sentinel driver was interrogated by
police and released. Investigators were said
to be pursuing a number of leads, but no
one was arrested up to last evening.
Yesterday s robbery bore striking sim-
ilarities to another one involving the com-
pany s transport vehicle on September 25
last year. In that incident, two guards were
robbed of approximately $1.2 million while
driving on northbound lane of the Sir
Solomon Hochoy Highway in Gasparillo.
Senior Supt John Daniel, head of the
Homicide Bureau, and Insp Mark Maharaj,
of the Northern Division, are heading
The T&T Guardian learned yesterday
that after numerous armed robberies of
employees and their cash transport vehicles
over the past three years, the management
of Sentinel Security was warned by the
police and a union for security guards to
mend lapses in its operations.
Police sources said that earlier this year,
executive management of the security firm
held a meeting with top-ranking detectives
of the Port-of-Spain CID, after there were
several incidents where their guards were
robbed of firearms and cash they were
A source told the T&T Guardian that
company officials were advised to increase
security measures in their cash transport
vehicles and to closely monitor their
President of the Estate Police Association
Edison Munroe said yesterday that his
organisation had also written to the com-
pany on the issue several times.
He said his organisation proposed that
the two parties meet to evaluate the com-
pany s current system, as it relates to their
officers safety, and devise a plan to
improve it. However, he said they were
still awaiting a response.
Refering to yesterday s incident, Munroe
said: "This is not the first time this has
happened...It has been going on for years."
He claimed his organisation was aware
that some security companies were using
"ancient" equipment and vehicles which
caused officers to be "easy targets" for
bandits. He also said officers should receive
more intensive training.
"They are putting officers lives at seri-
ous risk," Munroe said in a telephone inter-
He said his organisation was calling on
acting Police Commissioner Stephen
Williams to organise a conference with his
organisation, security companies and other
stakeholders to develop protocols which
would be adhered to by all parties.
Several calls were made to Sentinel s
head office at the corner of Stone and
Duke Streets in Port-of-Spain yesterday,
but whenever the T&T Guardian asked to
speak to an official for comment on the
robberies, the person on the other end
repeatedly hung up.
Traffic woes for drivers
Continues from Page A1
Bert Clarke with his grandchildren Aria, left, and Eva in recent times.
PHOTO COURTESY CLARKE FAMILY.
The Ford Rangerpacked with cement used by bandits to hit the Sentinel security van
during a robbery on the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway yesterday. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
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