At a time when criminals have moved ahead and are rolling with sophisticated weapons and vehicles, Dr Keith Rowley, Prime Minister, is suggesting police officers return to communities on bicycles.
At a public meeting in Arima on Thursday night, Rowley added that Local Government Reform would also bring about a change in municipal policing. He said each regional corporation would be outfitted with 100 police officers. The officers, he said, would be selected from the community based on character competence and energy. And the officers would not be restricted by vehicles, he said.
Rowley said bicycle policing would be reintroduced in the communities. “Local police could walk or ride a bicycle, no shame in that. Policing is not dependent on how many cars you buy. We have about 7,000 police officers and it is not feasible to buy 7,000 cars. I have not seen a police bicycle in Trinidad in how long? Proper policing is not sitting in air conditioned cars, proper policing requires face to face stop and say hello by the gate. We have to change the way we are doing things in this country,” he said.
In an immediate response, police officers say it is a backward steps for police officers to ride bicycles in communities. “The criminals have moved ahead of us. They are using all different types of devices and they try to keep ahead of the police. Can the police really tackle these criminals using bicycles?
During the Local Government Election meeting, Rowley said too much money was being spent on tourism when so many communities were without proper signage. He said it was impossible for a foreigner to find his way around Trinidad without getting lost.
“I wonder sometimes how we could be spending millions of dollars on tourism and talking about tourism and inviting people to come and visit and go to this place and that place. I wonder how does a foreigner get around Trinidad because unless you know where you going you have to be a magician to come off the airport, rent a car and drive around Trinidad and not get lost,” he said.
Rowley said when Local Government has the responsibility of signage it would be held accountable and proper signage would be placed on every community.