Alexander, vice-president of the Police Social and Welfare Association, was interviewed yesterday by Fazeer Mohammed of CCN TV6’s Morning Edition programme on the massive police roadblock exercise and whether it was meant to frustrate the public as police continue their negotiations with the Chief Personnel Officer for higher wages.
Denying that the roadblocks was their form of protest, Alexander, host of TV6’s Beyond the Tape programme, said, however, “a police officer is outside all day, night, lunchtime all hours and then there is a clerk in the ministry working for the same money like us. That is amazing, eh?”
President of the Police Social and Welfare Association, Inspector Anand Ramesar, told the Express last week that officers were disgruntled over the slow pace of the negotiations and, following a meeting last week Wednesday, the officers reportedly decided on a particular form of action that they (the Police Welfare Association) were not told about.
Alexander flatly denied, however, that yesterday morning’s roadblocks were a form of police protest.
“Of course not!” he said as he responded to Mohammed’s question, adding, “What the police is engaged in presently is that we observed what is happening in our nation today and we are trying our best to stop road traffic accidents on the road and persons moving with firearms to and fro and all these things.
“So this is not something personal against anybody. One of our colleagues was shot on Saturday night (Sergeant Cornelius Samuel) and we are making a special effort to treat with crime in Trinidad and Tobago and show the importance of police on the ground.”
When asked why the roadblocks at 5:30 on a Monday morning when people were heading to work or school, Alexander replied, “The criminal elements don’t have a time. They attack at a moment’s notice, so we have to be prepared. So we are out early and I am asking persons to understand. So, therefore, if you are a criminal, leave your guns at home and if you are a law-abiding citizen well because of how we have to treat with this situation I suggest you walk with your breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
Accused again, however, of holding the public to ransom for their own interests, Alexander replied, “Anyone could speculate, but you want the police to work as they always saying the police not working and police not responding, police not doing this, police not doing that and we are saying that we are trying to make a change.”