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Filbert Street seeks Rapid Response to new police unit

Scene: TV studio in Port of Spain

Presenter: “Welcome back to the DayBreak show and I’m delighted to introduce my next guest, Sergeant Snail of the newly formed Rapid Response Unit. Good morning Sgt Snail.”

Sgt Snail: “Good morning, Fuzzy. Sorry I’m late. Traffic.”

Presenter: “Haha; so you get stuck in traffic, just like us normal folk eh? I bet you wish you could have come here in your police car with your lights flashing.”

Sgt Snail: “I did. But nobody takes any notice of us on the roads.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Rapid Response vehicle.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Rapid Response vehicle.

Presenter: “Ahmm. Okay. Well, glad you are here. Can you tell us more about the role of the Rapid Response Unit? Why do we need another police unit?”

Sgt Snail: “Well, you see, Fuzzy, our job is to respond rapidly as a unit.”

Presenter: “Yes, but aren’t all police vehicles supposed to respond rapidly?”

Sgt Snail: “Not so, Fuzzy. Police are required to respond quickly. We respond rapidly.”

Presenter: “Isn’t that the same thing?”

Sgt Snail: “No, sir. It’s completely different. You see rapid means fast-flowing whereas quick just means moving fast. It is the little things that make the biggest difference. You know how much we paid Bill Bratton tell us that? Besides, our Rapid Response Vehicles are painted in yellow and blue squares.”

Presenter: “Well… We certainly cannot miss your vehicles. I often see your officers parked at the side of the highway with their lights flashing. What are you all doing on the sides of the road?”

Sgt Snail: “Excellent question. You see, Fuzzy, to the untrained eye, it may well appear that we’re doing nothing. However, we are playing an invaluable role as a deterrent.”

Presenter: “A deterrent? But I’ve seen vehicles passing your cars at over 140kph. I’ve seen cars passing you at night without lights. I’ve seen drivers go past you while talking on their phones…”

Sgt Snail (curls his lip contemptuously): “Small fry.”

Presenter: “I’m sorry. What do you mean by small fry?”

Sgt Snail: “Our role is to respond rapidly to serious crime. You cannot use a cannon to kill a tattoo. You think we are traffic wardens or what?! Hahaha.”

Photo: Respect our authority!
Photo: Respect our authority!

Presenter: “So, if you’re not stopping traffic offences, why are you out on the highways? Shouldn’t you be in the hot spots then?”

Sgt Snail: “Again, you see how the untrained eye cannot understand modern policing techniques? The fastest way to travel by motor vehicle is on the highway. So it would make no sense to be parked inside the communities.”

Presenter: “But don’t you think you would be closer to the action if…”

Sgt Snail: “That is your problem right there. There is no time to think when you are in the police service. Lives are at risk man. You have to act.”

(Awkward pause)

Presenter: “So you wait on the highways for the criminals when they flee the crime scenes?”

Sgt Snail: “Precisely.”

Presenter: “But suppose they use the main road?”

Sgt Snail: “Like my police commissioner, I don’t answer hypothetical questions.”

Photo: Hypothetically speaking, would I sound silly if I cannot answer a basic question about the law?
Photo: Hypothetically speaking, would I sound silly if I cannot answer a basic question about the law?

Presenter: “What do you mean? The main road is a feasible option. Surely there are criminals who use that too. Shouldn’t the police also have a presence there?”

Sgt Snail: “That information is only available on a need to know basis.”

Presenter: “You don’t know the answer do you?”

Sgt Snail: “Look, I say the glass is half-full. You say it is half-empty. Can you remember the last time there was a murder on the highway? Credit where credit is due Fuzzy.”

Presenter: “I didn’t realise we ever had a murder problem on the highway. But drunk driving is a problem. Does your unit monitor that?”

Sgt Snail: “Drinking and driving is one of our highest priorities.”

Presenter (looking relieved): “That’s good to hear. Can you tell us more?’

Sgt Snail: “Well, now that Carnival season is here, we have to be vigilant to ensure that people behave themselves on the road. It is especially important to keep your eye out for cars that might be full of sexy, young women. I usually stop any car with more than three women and take their ID information and contact numbers for surveillance purposes.”

Presenter: “How does that relate to monitoring drink driving? Shouldn’t you be stopping people to breathalyse them?”

Sgt Snail: “We do. But there is a system. We only stop drunk people. That way, we don’t antagonise law abiding citizens.”

Presenter: “But how do you know they are drunk without stopping them?”

Photo: See ociffer? Who's the drunk now?
Photo: See ociffer? Who’s the drunk now?

Sgt Snail: “Training, Fuzzy. Suppose we see a famous tv crime show host driving his SUV upside down with a van full of women that look like Brigo with weave? Usually, we would closely monitor a situation like that to see if the driver’s judgment might be impaired by alcohol.”

Presenter: “When is a man driving his SUV on the roof ever not a case of drunk driving?”

Sgt Snail: “Some men just like to mix it up ever so often, Fuzzy. Who am I to judge once he not hurting anybody?”

Presenter: “Thanks for your time, Sergeant…”

AboutFilbert Street

Filbert Street
Filbert Street is a real columnist who works in a fantasy world that sometimes resembles our own.

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One comment

  1. Great article. We citizens of Trinidad and Tobago need to know what on earth the authorities are doing to protect and serve the people of this country – beside the usual filibustering about crime plans and special units – established to do what the regular units are already supposed to be doing!