The image which went viral in social media that labelled as “imposters”, legitimate police officers carrying out duties under the TTPS COVID-19 Task Force. (Image courtesy TTPS)
RHONDOR DOWLAT-ROSTANT

Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, has debunked certain the social media posts which are branding as imposters, Police Officers carrying out their legitimate duties as members of the TTPS COVID-19 Task Force, are being branded as imposters.

In a strongly worded news release, Commissioner Griffith confirms that there is COVID Task Force and that that the men depicted in the picture are Police Officers who were carrying out a legitimate function.

The photograph in question has been circulated via social media, suggesting that the men were police imposters.

The top cop is reminding the public that the TTPS carries out several functions on behalf of the Ministry of Health, to manage the COVID-19 pandemic in this country, which is generally coordinated by Assistant Commissioner Wendell Williams.

The release issued by the Police Service explains that police visits, coordinated by ACP Williams, are largely to restore or establish communication between County Medical Officers of Health and COVID-19 positive individuals.

“Police Officers carrying out these visits identify themselves as Police Officers. If citizens are unsure, they can ask to see the officer’s ID and badge, which the officer is obliged to produce. Their visits are generally non-intrusive by word or action,” the TTPS release states.

“At this level of visit, the police officers do not board premises but communicate from a safe distance,” Commissioner Griffith said. “The information they require are also simple and reasonable and pose no risk to the citizen.”

Commissioner Griffith pointed out that he established a COVID Task Force in 2020 to assist the Ministry of Health—in particular to ensure that quarantined persons remain at home, as the TTPS had received reports that persons on quarantine, or COVID-19 positive, had been seen in the public.

He assured that ACP Williams is easily reachable on COVID matters.

“So, the police officer who reportedly advised the publisher of the social media posts that the TTPS has no COVID-19 Task Force, either misled the citizen or was misquoted,” the CoP said.

He added that ACP Williams coordinates a functional network of police officers within all Divisions and some Branches of the Police Service to fulfil those MOH requests.