Chairman of the Police Welfare Association (PWA) Jefferson Drigo has expressed dissatisfaction over the living conditions of police officers in the out districts and the management of the police force.
Drigo was at the time outlining the PWA Executive’s concerns about the police force at a press conference of the association.
“We are dissatisfied with the management of the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force (CDPF). We also have to put some blows on the Police Service Commission (PSC) because some of the members chosen by the government are incapable of doing their work,” Drigo stated.
“I believe that the government must review its nominees on the PSC because some of them do not know who the police officers are… is like you come to do promotions and don’t know the person. We are not satisfied with the way the promotions are made,” he said. “Senior competent police officers have resigned because of the treatment; it is not right. We need to assist the police officers better; it is not right and fair.”
He continued, “You see a police officer on the road and you think all is well, no. We work hard and run a station for nine, ten days straight, it is not right; we have to look to run a police station and cook. It’s our future bread and butter. The situation in various police stations is deplorable. In traffic we have rats, wood ants and more. It is a shame how our police officers live in those deplorable conditions.”
On the issue of “politics in the police force”, Drigo had this to say: “People have their political leanings; we are not concerned about that. All we do is to work in the best interest of our officers.”
The PWA, Drigo said, is asking for a national security allowance across the board and over time allowance.
“We realize that some sections are getting national security allowance, but it’s important to us and we are all at risk so we want it across the board,” Drigo said.
Drigo also took issue with the recently amended “Police Insurance Act” which he says is still a troubling matter for them despite its amendment in Parliament.
He said police officers have lots of rest days in excess of 100 days post Maria and cannot get them.
“We also have issues with the “Special Constables” issue where they can’t take a loan so we are recommending that after six years once they are competent and fit the criteria make them regulars. They perform the same duties as a normal police officer, the courts, traffic, general, SSU and so on and they are not show of their future in the police force that is not fair.”