Port of Spain -AT least 15 police officers have been identified — with more to come — on allegations of “bribing citizens” of this country.
People are claiming that police officers — some assigned to the Western Division — have charged citizens between $600 and $1,000 to receive “police escort” in and out of the Western Main Road for the Soaka fete over the weekend.
Commissioner Gary Griffith confirmed the investigation.
“Your information is indeed correct. I was spearheading operations with SORT (Special Operations Response Team) when we were made aware of this situation. We intercepted the officers who were using their vehicles in a manner which is not allowed. They were ‘bribing citizens’ to basically get out of the traffic in and out the party through use of police escort.
“So we stopped many of these vehicles and we took the names and badge numbers of the officers and the cars they were using and we will be pursuing disciplinary action. What that may be I cannot say at this time. It may even end up with some officers being fired. I cannot say. But action will be taken,” Griffith said.
He said the focus on intelligence-driven policing and scientific approach to policing led to the discovery, as some vehicles were outfitted with GPS systems
“So when we checked we found officers who were doing these things from outside of even the Western Division. Which means these vehicles would have been sent out on patrols, on their respective divisions, but they abandoned their duties, left these areas vulnerable, to make a quick buck.
“That is unacceptable. We cannot continue to do this. Because if something God forbid had happened in the areas they were supposed to be in, and they did not respond, what would have been the scenario? That there are no police vehicles to respond to the reports of citizens? I will not allow this. We are here to protect and serve with pride. And the few who do things like this, paint the entire service in a bad light by their actions,” Griffith said.