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TT Police Marine Patrol Unit captured in training.

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service’s (TTPS) Marine Unit will begin its operations in a few weeks.

This according to Police Commissioner Gary Griffith who said the unit has five vessels, about 30 officers and will be used to patrol from the shoreline to two miles out to sea in an effort to stem the illegal import of drugs, guns and human trafficking.

Speaking to the media after a consultation with taxi drivers at the Ministry of Works and Transport yesterday, Griffith said the officers have been undergoing intense training for the past several months.

He said the TTPS was embracing its mandate to patrol land, air and sea.

“We saw the importance of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service not only being instrumental to deal with law enforcement on land- it is not just Coast Guard business we have a part to play on land, sea and air- very soon you are going to see drones being implemented in the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service to assist us in that type of operation,” Griffith said.

He said the Marine Unit will patrol ‘Tier 1’ of the coastline- from the shoreline to two miles out at sea, allowing the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard to focus on Tier 2 and 3.

“There would be patrols specifically to deal with the illegal entry of weapons, drugs and human trafficking, we will have the patrols in specific areas.”

Griffith said the patrols will be focused on the North Coast, the Gulf of Paria and the SouthWestern peninsula.

“This is a pilot project, we intend to be much more effective, we will be looking to acquire interceptors and other types of vessels to assist us in the patrols and this here will work in tandem with the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard, this is not the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service doing our own thing.”

He said the Unit will be launched when the TTPS officially opens the Carenage Police Station. He promised to give more details on the Unit and its operation at that time.