Police Commissioner Gary Griffith Saturday hosted a clinical session for front line police officers who have been attacked by members of the public during the past eight months and particularly the last three weeks as they go about their duties to enforce law and order.
During the exercise which was held at the Police Academy in St James, Griffith said he was not surprised as some of the officers spoke openly of the incidents that had resulted from them “merely doing their jobs.”
In a release, the TTPS confirmed the session was hosted under the auspices of the I Support Our Service (ISOS) initiative.
Following the CoP’s opening address, those present were placed into three groups consisting of personnel from the Guard and Emergency Branch (GEB) and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), along with a civilian group which included spouses and family members.
The TTPS said it was during this session that the officers spoke of the attacks coming from the public.
The release indicated, “They noted that in particular areas, they were verbally assaulted, cursed at, spat upon, shot at, threatened by ferocious dogs, and in some cases, physically attacked. Some stated that in many cases, their training, experience, and composure prevented them from retaliation.”
“In cases where they have come under gunfire and are forced to retaliate, these incidents have left them traumatised for a considerable period.”
Among the most notable incidents is the murder of their colleague PC Allen Moseley in Morvant on June 27; the killing of three men in Morvant on June 27; the fatal shooting of a woman in Beetham on June 30 and the blame being put on the police for this; and the two days of shootings, physical attacks, burning of tyres and blocking of roads following the June 27 killing of the three men in Morvant.
IATF head, Supt Oswain Subero said although he joined the Police Service in 1988, it was not until five years later that he experienced his first traumatic event.
He said in those days, there were no clinical sessions to find out how officers were coping.
Police officers, he said, had to cope for themselves and by themselves.
He was happy that the TTPS had progressed to conduct such sessions as was done Saturday.
Subero said although he was not directly involved in the June 27 shootings, the officers under his command were and therefore by extension, it had also affected him.
He thanked the TTPS and the CoP for being supportive of the police officers in these trying times.