Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 11th 2014 Contents A9
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JENSEN LA VENDE
A plan to boost the manpower of
the Homicide Bureau by transfering
detectives from other units has met
the approval of the Police Second Divi-
Secretary of the organisation, Insp
Michael Seales, said the Police Executive
must, however, ensure that the targeted
officers are adequately compensated
Seales was commenting on state-
ments made by acting Commissioner
of Police Stephen Williams, who
announced last week that the Police
Service intented to quadruple its efforts
to solve murders.
Speaking at an awards ceremony last
week, Williams said the media saw the
performance of the Police Service
through the lens of murders, and while
there had been a decrease in other seri-
ous crimes, murders must be addressed.
Seales said without the proper renu-
meration for the excessive hours that
the police officers would now have to
work as a result of the proposed move,
such a move would be demotivating.
He said the Homicide Bureau oper-
ates differently from other units in the
way they interview and record state-
ments from suspects and that officers
coming in ought to be trained to do so.
The training period he said should be
between two weeks to a month and as
well as on-the-job training.
"Would systems be in place to man-
age the psychological aspects of these
officers? There could be some confusion
in the rank structure and the Commis-
sioner of Police has to take those mat-
ters into consideration," Seales said.
In the wake of concerns about conditions at St
Michael s Home for Boys, staff at the St Jude s
Home for Girls have asked for an urgent meeting
with board members and ministry officials to dis-
cuss problems which could hamper the process.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, staff
members from St Jude s acknowledged the variety
of problems affecting the Belmont home, which
include protection for both staff and girls, mental
health issues, alcohol and drug-related issues, as
well as abuse and abandonment issues.
The home which was designed to function like
a family unit, also fulfils the role of a religious
guide, educator, protector and social service provider.
And although there exists a system of rules and
regulations for acceptable social conduct as a means
of establishing order within the home, the staff
said it does not mean the girls always seize the
opportunities provided for growth and develop-
This latest request for a meeting with the home s
board and officials of the Ministry of Gender and
Youth Affairs follows an incident on June 19, during
which a female staffer was attacked and beaten by
a group of girls.
The staff members said although their lives are
at risk daily, officials who have visited the home
have yet to speak with them.
One member said, "It seems that their only agen-
da is maintaining the rights of the girls while avoid-
ing and ignoring the members of staff."
Claiming that sincere attempts at understanding
events that have unfolded at the home within recent
weeks must be done with the involvement of all
stakeholders, including the staff, the employees
said while inappropriate behaviours by the girls are
not encouraged, this did not prevent some girls
from bullying others into certain situations.
After the incident in June, staff members
expressed concerns after a list containing the names
of certain employees surfaced, as they were being
targeted by girls considered to be trouble-makers.
Indicating that many of them were open to dis-
cussions and training, the staff said they often had
to provide counseling to the girls, while ensuring
they did not harm others or themselves.
Allegations at children's homes...
St Jude's administrators
seek meeting with ministry
A fancy Indian Carnival character is captured parading during the Arima Fest Borough Day celebrations on
Saturday. The Fest is to showcase the many talents, and cultural experiences offered in the environs of
Arima. PHOTO:ABRAHAM DIAZ
The resignation of the chairman of
the Police Service Commission by
month's end can have a significant
impact on disciplinary matter
affecting second division officers.
Seales said there were more than
200 appeals pending before the
Commission and if the post was not
filled by September 1, those matters
would be delayed.
Last Wednesday, the Office of the
President announced the impending
resignation of Prof Ramesh
Deosaran, who quits apparently over
his frustration in getting the
government to prioritise legislation
to make it easier to appoint as
Commissioner of Police and Deputy
Commissioners of Police.
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