Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 23rd 2014 Contents RHONDOR DOWLAT
It s like a scene from a horror
movie, says a municipal police offi-
cer at the Port-of-Spain City Cor-
poration, talking about working
conditions at City Hall.
"Leeches slither up the drainpipes
and cling to your skin and suck your
blood when you're bathing."
The officer, who did not want to
be identified, said many of his col-
leagues had developed respiratory
problems and were seeking medical
attention. Others had severe skin irri-
"This is due to the murky, mouldy
and dusty mattresses in the dormi-
tories," the officer said. "Those who
would have slept on these dirty mat-
tresses are now suffering from itching,
skin infections and fungus.
"Cockroaches are everywhere," he
continued. "Crawling on you while
you sleep, sit and stand. They have
overtaken the refrigerator, getting
into our food---even when we are
eating, the roaches crawl into our
bowls. It is like living out one of those
old-fashioned horror movies."
The city police are also concerned
about security and feel they lack the
right tools for the job. Referring to
a recent incident, when two munic-
ipal police officers on foot patrol on
Observatory Street were shot at, he
said, "This job has become life-
threatening to us.
"We are now forced to go on
patrols along with the regular police
officers at the Police Service to
hotspots including Laventille, John
John and Sea Lots. We, however, need
better weapons and bulletproof vests."
The police at City Hall are
equipped with M&P 9mm, Smith &
Wesson 9 mm and 12-gauge shot-
guns, while regular police have the
M&P 5, which is a high-powered
weapon, and more powerful semi-
City police have to share worn-
out, ten-year-old bulletproof vests,
the officer complained.
"These vests are mouldy and have
fungus growing on them, and that
too poses a health risk to us. Three
of us have to share a vest. This is
ridiculous! We need to be protected
from bullets and we need to have
Backpay is another concern. He
claimed that backpay and a $1,000
monthly risk allowance were prom-
ised to them since December, but
they were yet to receive it.
"The backpay (averages about)
$46,000 per officer as of this month,
and there are about 85 officers at this
At the municipal police station
there is only one holding cell, meas-
uring six feet by four. It houses both
male and female prisoners and some-
times, when the cell is full, city police
have to handcuff prisoners to chairs,
in full view of the public.
"The cell is located next to the
charge room, where all our firearms
are housed, so these prisoners see
everything and know everything,
because it is directly in front of their
eyes. There needs to be more than
one holding cell, and away from the
charge room, so the prisoners would
not be able to study us while in there."
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
'Thanks, Minister Coudray'
On Monday, Local Government Minister Marlene Coudray toured
the station after last week's walkout by city police officers.
A police mobile unit has since been temporarily placed at Knox
Street and is being used as the charge room until renovations are
completed. The police dormitory was also relocated to a room
Speaking with the T&T Guardian yesterday, Supt Glen Charles sent
a heartfelt thanks to Coudray.
"We just want to thank the minister for putting aside her busy
schedule to facilitate us and give us a fair hearing. We have been
working in poor conditions for far too long and it's time that our
situation is brought to a closure," Charles said.
T&T Guardian was reliably informed that three buildings in the city
have been identified to house the new municipal police station.
Coudray is expected to put forward a note to Cabinet for approval to
buy one of these buildings.
City Police officers were given temporary accommodation yesterday as a
mobile police post was parked outside City Hall, Port-of-Spain.
PHOTO: JENSEN LA VENDE
Close to two dozen men
and women, along with the
Life Sport co-ordinator
Rajaee Ali, were arrested at
Carapo mosque yesterday by
a joint team of police and sol-
According to police reports,
around 6.30 pm shortly after
occupants at the mosque
ended their daily Ramadan
fast, they were detained and
herded into awaiting buses
and taken to the Arima Police
Soldiers and police arrived
at the mosque and conducted
searches but it was unclear if
anything illegal was found.
The men and women were
taken while the children there
were left unattended.
Earlier this month two of
Ali's brothers were arrested at
their home in Malabar, Arima,
by members of the Criminal
Gang and Intelligence Unit.
Two other men affiliated with
the mosque were also detained
in Diego Martin.
They were later released
Ali, a former murder
accused, was arrested in May
days after the murder of Sen-
ior Counsel Dana Seetahal but
was also released without
charge. Seetahal was killed on
May 4. Police said then he
was not a suspect in that
Cops hold 23 in raid
on Carapo mosque
A 32-year-old St James busi-
nessman was shot in the but-
tocks on Monday night after a
gunman opened fire on him
near his business place.
Police said that around 9 pm,
owner of Universal Bar, Dennis
Rosales, had just washed his car
at the corner of Panka and Vi-
dale Street, St James, when a
car stopped near him and a gun-
man came out and shot at him.
Rosales, who lives at Vidale
Street, ran a short distance and
collapsed. The gunman escaped
in the waiting vehicle.
Rosales was taken to the
Port-of-Spain General Hospital
where he is warded in a stable
condition. Rosales told police
the shooter is not known to
Bar owner shot in St James
JENSEN LA VENDE
The Morvant woman who featured
in a Facebook post beating her son
with a shovel should not be jailed but
given counselling. This is according
to one of her neighbours who spoke
with the media outside her Lower
Morvant Extension home yesterday.
The neighbour, who spoke on con-
dition of anonymity, said the mother
of three is a frustrated woman who
grew up with that sort of discipline
and was merely passing on to her chil-
dren what was taught to her by her
"Right now she is really frustrated.
From what I saw there that is really
a frustrated woman. I never hear them
beating the children, the grandmother
does beat them like that still. Some-
body has to help them. She is in a very
dark place because that shovel could
have killed that child. Even if you jail
her what would happen to the chil-
dren? The grandmother would raise
them? The same one who raised her?"
the woman asked.
She added that last year before
Christmas she spoke with the 13-year-
old child who was beaten in the video.
She said he told her that he loved his
mother and that she was really trying.
"She need the help because the world
saw her. That was passed to her by
her mother. It come out because the
poor children need saving," the woman
"When I saw that video I couldn't
believe it was that little boy. I was very
surprised to see it was her. He never
used to curse or anything. I know she
has an aggressive way of yelling at
them and cursing them---that is the
way she knows. Some people say she
big and she should know better. She
need guidance too. She is passing on
to her children what her parents passed
on to her...You could see she trying
The suspect, accompanied by her
attorney Orrin Kerr, yesterday gave a
statement at the Morvant Police Sta-
tion. The woman spent close to 45
minutes in the police station hiding
from media photographers who were
The woman at the centre of a Facebook
post which shows her beating a child
with a shovel leaves the Morvant Police
PHOTO: MICHEAL BRUCE
Mother trying her best
Facebook beating video
In the video
The woman was pictured in a
four minutes and 19 seconds long
video beating and cursing the child.
The video which was posted on
Facebook on July 17 has since
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