SHARLENE RAMPERSAD

Trying to bridge the gap between the public and the Police Service, Municipal Police officers in Chaguanas held a public outreach programme yesterday.

Chaguanas residents were able to meet the officers who protect them in the Borough, treated to self defence classes and educated about the functions of the TTPS.

Speaking to the media during the event, Assistant Superintendent Surendra Sagramsingh said the officers were committed to reinvigorating public trust.

“Community policing is an important facet because we understand that there is a gap existing between the public and law enforcement and that the only way to bridge that gap is by reaching out to people in a meaningful manner and not just in hard core policing,” Sagramsingh said.

He said although the public got to see the softer side of officers, the programme also included several raids in the Borough from as early as 3am.

“We would have removed more than three kilogrammes of cocaine from the streets, more than two kilogrammes of marijuana and also, we would have gotten parts of firearms,” he said.

Founder of the Chaguanas Inter Agency Organisation Dr Dave Alleyne said he was happy with the effort.

He said this action by police takes the fight against crime a step beyond the hundreds of vigils held in the recent months.

“We are here to let you know there is a hard side of policing, there is a soft side of policing where we deal with all the issues, we try to bring comfort, we try to bring mediate with people, we try to reduce the overheating within society, today is a day that is beginning of days to come,” Alleyne said.

Meanwhile, Chaguanas residents seemed pleased overall with the event.

Radica Jagroop said having recently lost her husband, she was happy to see more was being done to protect vulnerable women.

“We need security all over the country…our lives are in danger, so we have to get protected,” she said.

Another who identified himself only as Dean said he was too was pleased with the initiative.

“I sit every day and talk with my family about something like this being done so I am very happy to see it. I want to say, don’t give up, it breaks my heart to see what is happening in the country with crime but like everything else, it will take a while to change,” he said.