There was always a distinct possibility that, on the day local policemen collectively took their jobs seriously, Trinidad and Tobago would cease to function. Gangsters would hide in their mummy’s closets, corrupt Ministers would head for Panama, Jack Warner would lock himself in his underground vault and the Devil would catch frostbite.
Today was not quite that day. Because, as always, the target was not the country’s lawbreakers; but the everyday citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.
They shouldn’t bother to give Trinbagonians passports anymore. A “Kick Me” sign with scotch tape and an arrow would do just as well.
And yet this does not take away from the fact that the same Police Service that could not catch a fugitive in a wheelchair—or figure out a FIFA Hyatt bribery/money laundering case despite photographic and video evidence and dozens of eyewitnesses—was able to concoct one of the most innovative instances of industrial actions in the nation’s history.
Police Inspector Roger Alexander, the vice president of the Police Service Social and Welfare Association, told the TV6 Morning Edition that the lawmen were just doing their job and demonstrating their worth to the public by nationwide road blocks.
Policemen and women cannot stay away from work; so they decided to make their point by working harder than ever. Who could have seen that coming?!
To be fair: if the police had downed tools, who would have noticed?
Up and down the country, politicians ran around in a state of panic as schools, banks, airlines and everything in-between were affected.
National Security Minister Carl Alfonso, according to the Trinidad Guardian, publicly begged acting Commissioner of Police Ann Marie Alleyne-Daly to call off the roadblocks. But what can the Government do to stop a repeat occurrence?
Alleyne-Daly is acting for Stephen Williams, who himself is also acting as the police chief. Perhaps conveniently, Williams is overseas on vacation. Below Williams and Alleyne-Daly are poorly paid and largely neglected servicemen who, for the most part, didn’t even get a wine for the Carnival.
It seems that our actors in the police service have gotten fed up with the subservient roles handed to them by their Government directors.
To suggest that the police run the risk of alienating the public is laughable. There hasn’t been a positive word said about lawmen since an obscure dancehall artiste sang “Police Boy Blue… come to show what police can do” in the early 1990s.
Inspector Alexander warned that Trinidad and Tobago should expect to see more “total policing” in the immediate future. A 35 percent pay hike would make them become a bit less exuberant about their duties.
Wait?! The police will shut down the country unless they get more money NOT to work?!
Suddenly, Mr Live Wire is nostalgic for the good old days when Yasin Abu Bakr tried to overthrow the Government for a combination of perceived discrimination and oppressive economic policies.
But then it might be a natural progression for a society in which Adolphus Daniell got $34 million from LifeSport without putting in a day’s work and lawyers like Gerald Ramdeen charging the Government tens of thousands of dollars for a pre-action protocol letter.
If the priest could play, who is the police?
Live Wire suggests a six percent pay hike for all lawmen if they could lift the rate of arrests and criminal charges up to 25 percent of all homicides and State fraud by December 2015. Another six percent increase if they get the rate of convictions to match.
In the meantime, they can get a two percent rise on good faith with one condition. They must catch Dana Seetahal’s murderer.
Happy hunting officers!