Public Relations Officer of the Police Welfare Association (PWA), Jeffery James has said that he is elated that attention has finally been given to the Traffic Department and the Roseau Police Station after representation by the Police Welfare Association regarding reports of rodent and termite infestation there.
James’ statement came after the Minister for National Security, Rayburn Blackmoore, Permanent Secretary, Joanne Commodore and the Deputy Chief of Police visited the Charge Office, the traffic department, among other police areas of operations in response to the PWA’s public expression of dissatisfaction.
James said during an interview with Carlisle Jno Baptiste, after a meeting of the PWA executive with the association’s members last week, that action would be taken on Wednesday, June 12th in an effort to remedy the situation, if their several requests and recommendations to the administration of the police force to address those issues, including reports of the prevalence of bedbugs at the Roseau police station, were not taken on board.
“There is an infestation of rats at the traffic department and you can probably say the rats were roaming together with the men at the traffic department,” Jeffery said.
He said as a result of inaction by the management of the force, “We are asking the personnel who are attached the traffic department and the Roseau police station to report to police headquarters on Wednesday for duty because conditions…are no longer suitable for them to work.”
He said they were forced to take this course of action to get an immediate solution.
Meantime, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Joanne Commodore said no evidence of rats or termites were found within the various locations.
“The Honorable Minister (Rayburn Blackmoore) and myself, along with the deputy chief of police, set out to investigate and physically visit the charge office, the traffic department and any other area that was of concern that we could reach. It gives me great pleasure to report that there was no evidence of rat or termite infestation at the various locations. While on site we did complete a tour and we made recommendations for some of the small improvements that seemed relevant,” Commodore said.
She added, “While undertaking cleaning this weekend, we were reliably informed that no droppings or evidence of rodents was seen. This leads me to wonder if investigations were done by the PWA before releasing very worrying statements for public consumption.”
Commodore further expressed disappointment that the PWA had taken their concerns to the media rather than bringing them to the attention of the Ministry of National security.
“I wish to express my dissatisfaction with the culture…within the police force. This culture of running to the media as a first means of dealing with a problem rather than using the steps laid out in law…It is the duty of the PWA to bring the issues affecting police officers to the attention of the Hon. Minister or at the very least to the attention of the Permanent Secretary and of course to the police administration. None of this was done so why should this be in the press before we are engaged and given the opportunity to assist the police?” she asked.
Commodore said the Ministry of Justice has been extremely responsive to the needs of the police force and that police officers also have a responsibility in keeping their rooms, offices and surroundings clean.
However, James maintains that the Police Welfare Association is a lawful organization which is mandated to represent the interests of police officers.
“So, here it goes. We are standing for what we were elected to do. Hooray, hooray, hooray; the traffic department and Roseau police station – attention has been given, is being given and will be given because of our course of action. Kudos to you Mr. Chairman [PWA Chairman, Jefferson Drigo]”