With goodies promised to everyone in the budget being presented
today, the various arms of the Ministry of National Security
are hoping they will get their share.
Finance Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira is expected to deliver
her maiden budget presentation in the House of Representatives
from 2 pm today.
The Guardian will provide extensive coverage of the budget
presentation in tomorrows newspaper.
The Prisons, Police, and Fire services have continually
called for financial assistance to deal with ongoing problems,
and they are hoping that their calls will be answered by
Acting secretary of the Police Service Association Social
and Welfare Division, John Fredericks, said patrols of the
countrys shoreline were necessary to curb crime.
we can get the Marine Branch back in operation, it will
be excellent, Fredericks said.
He said there was a manpower shortage in the service and
technological aids were necessary.
are needed in every major town for eyes on the streets,
He said another major problem for law enforcement officers
was the length of time months to a year they
had to wait to get overtime payments.
needs to be streamlined so the officers receive overtime
every three to four months, Fredericks said.
association also hopes the training for police officers
will continue so the service will be brought up to strength.
Secretary general of the Prisons Officers Association, Burton
Hill, said, Every year we live in hope.
He said Tobago was in need of a prison.
present prison is the worst case... There are remanded and
convicted prisoners in the same cell, Hill said.
He said it was not good to have the different classifications
of prisoners mixing together.
proper rehabilitation, the prisoners should be better facilitated
in their own community, he said.
In addition, Hill said, two boats were needed to ensure
efficient transportation to and from Carrera Island.
supply and a passenger vessel are needed for the island,
Hill also said a refurbishment of the various prisons was
is a need for a proper infirmary at the Maximum Security
prison... It increases public safety at the prison and it
needs to be upgraded, he said.
The Youth Training Centre and the Remand Yard were also
mentioned for refurbishment.
Hill also mentioned staff, vehicles, training for officers,
and a freeze on the promotion of several staff members.
problem is the payment for a 40-hour work week by prisons
officer... There is need for better wages for the work we
are asked to do to rehabilitate offenders, he said.
Fire officers also believe they are getting the worst end
of the stick, with several fire stations suffering from
a shortage of manpower and appliances.
Morvant and Woodbrook fire stations are currently operating
without a fire appliance and fire officers complain that
they are forced to use outdated equipment at fire scenes.
Several fire stations are in a dilapidated condition.
Senior officers said a number of women had recently joined
the service which required a drastic transformation of the
facilities to properly accommodate them.
The officers also said promotion was another issue.
They said the last time any promotions were made was two
They said the issue had affected the morale of hundreds
of officers across the country.