For the past week, having had a conversation with a friend who lives in the Morvant area—and in his words, “in the belly of the gangs and criminal activities”—I have begun to question my reasons for not giving soldiers the authority to make arrests, other than citizens, and for not being selfish in my thinking.
The point raised by this individual was that when living in a crime-saturated community, one will take any positive action to be relieved of the crime fear which has overtaken some of these communities in Trinidad and Tobago.
In comparison to those who live in their gated communities, having the privilege of guards and dogs, surveillance systems and with the influence to have a police presence and round-the-clock patrols, they are the ones who argue against amendment of the Defence Act to give soldiers the power of arrest, for they do not have the experience of having to duck bullets daily.
My friend said furthermore, all police officers, present and past, started off their careers by learning as time progressed. So I say, give the soldiers a chance, then a proper analysis can be made for or against them.