Saturday 31st December, 2005


Citizen’s award for hero cops

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Dr Harold Mahabir, Maraval resident and international education consultant, presents acting Insp Joyce James-Martin of the Maraval Police Station with a citizen’s commendation yesterday, after police from the station rescued a woman who was abducted by a man. Looking on are PCs Darryl Worrel and Anson Springer. Photo: Shirley Bahadur


A 26-year-old woman is alive today because of the prompt response of the E-999 police and others from the Maraval station, who rescued her from an abductor on Thursday afternoon.

“I am sure we saved a life. What a good way to end the year,” an elated acting Insp Joyce James-Martin of the Maraval station said yesterday, after education consultant Dr Harold Mahabir gave her officers a commendation for the rescue.

James-Martin said the Maraval team got involved after E-999 put out an all-points bulletin for a car in which the woman was being held captive by a man who forced her into it by putting an icepick to her throat.

The woman, who has two children, was abducted from her home at Regal Street, Belmont, around noon. Neighbours who witnessed the event alerted the E-999, which placed an emergency flash which James-Martin picked up at her station.

James-Martin said that around 12.50 pm, she picked up the emergency call from the E-999 officers who were on patrol.

Although only one car was on the compound at the time, James-Martin said she was able to dispatch officers to a deserted area at Perseverance, Maraval, where the man’s car was spotted.

Even at that time, the man was being tailed by telecommunications branch officer PC Preston George, who also picked up the APB and came upon the car, which he followed.

George kept transmitting information about the car which the Maraval and E-999 units intercepted at Perseverance. The police found the woman on the ground, as she had jumped out of the car, forcing the man to stop.

“That man’s intention was to kill that woman.

“When the police approached the vehicle, she was shouting ‘kill him, officers. Just kill him,’” James-Martin said in an interview at the Maraval station.

A suspect, who was yesterday in custody at the Belmont Police Station, is expected to face kidnapping and attempted murder charges.

James-Martin had high praise for George, the E-999 unit, and her own officers—PCs Elton Morris, Felix Lazama, Mark Solomon, Darryl Worrel and Earl Logan.

“I am so happy we saved a life,” she said.

Mahabir, an education consultant and administrator in psychology, said Maraval residents told him what happened and he decided to give an award to the officers, who, he said, went beyond the call of duty to save the woman’s life.

“I feel that there ought to be public commendations for officers who perform,” said Mahabir, who lives in Maraval.

In a statement to reporters, Mahabir said the public was quick to criticise the police when they don’t perform but were not as quick to praise them when crimes are solved.

“We need to motivate police officers when they do their best and there must be commendation from the higher authorities when it is done,” the statement said.

Mahabir also called for the introduction of a national award to be given to police officers for bravery.

“I do feel that police officers need to be motivated. If you can’t motivate them by giving an incentive, an award for their performance and exemplary behaviour should be offered,” he added.

He said he hoped to implement a system whereby individual police officers and the stations to which they are assigned are commended for acts of heroism.



©2004-2005 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

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