Police Commissioner Gary Griffith (2nd from right) meets with members of the Trinidad and Tobago Promoters Association (TTPA) including TTPA president Jerome ‘Rome’ Precilla (third from left), TTPA advocate Paige De Leon (2nd from left) and treasurer Derek Douragh (left). Also present were Deputy Commissioner of Police (Ag), Joanne Archie (hidden) and Head—Legal Unit of the TTPS, Christian Chandler.

There will now be an active police presence at virtual Carnival events going forward. This was one of several recommendations made during a meeting between the Trinidad and Tobago Promoters Association (TTPA) and Police Commissioner Gary Griffith yesterday. The discussions follow concerns raised about breaches of the COVID-19 health protocols at the Sekon Sunday event hosted by soca artiste Nesta ‘Sekon Sta’ Boxhill over the weekend.

Thirteen years after Shurwayne Winchester captured the Groovy Soca Monarch title with “Carnival Please Stay”, its essence captures the emotions revellers today as the pandemic has forced promoters to transition from the Savannah grass to a digital space.

Following the meeting, TTPA president Jerome Precilla, better known as “Rome” said it was good to have the police’s backing.

“The commissioner was in support of the culture of T&T. He was in support of having the virtual events but he was very concerned with observing all protocols, which we are as well.”

Precilla said out of the now contentious “Sekon Sunday” event came major takeaways.

“What would be the first thing is to ensure there are ushers in each of the aisles so no one can mingle from aisle to aisle to ensure people remain in their spaces and not move around.”

It was also agreed, that once virtual events are planned, the police commissioner should be told and he will ensure his officers are present. “The commissioner asked that we have police presence at the events and we agreed as an association that we would have police presence at these events going forward. So, therefore, we wouldn’t have these discrepancies.”

Prescilla said members have pledged not to be, as we would say in local parlance, “outta timing” going forward.

“We don’t want to be pushing to have an event and then there is a super spreader, so we wanna make sure we are responsible as an association to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Meanwhile, Prescilla said the Downton Owners and Merchants Association’s (DOMA’s) recent call for the Government to reconsider the cancellation of Carnival comes too late as systems will not be in place to facilitate what is popularly called ‘The greatest show on earth’.