FILLING THE GAP: Soldiers of the Trinidad and Tobago Regimental Police (RP) and police officers continue to patrol around the city in Port of Spain yesterday. —Photo: ROBERTO CODALLO

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Back to normal for cops

By Akile Simon

It was business as usual for police officers throughout the country yesterday, one day after some of their colleagues stayed away from work for a day of "rest and reflection".

Police said only one serious crime was reported on Monday in which three men were shot and wounded in Sea Lots.

The planned police sick-out action flopped on Monday with more than 80 per cent of the officers turning up for duty. The figures on Monday evening, after a change of shift, were higher than during the morning period, police sources told the Express yesterday.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, National Security Minister Brigadier John Sandy and Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs commended police officers for their dedication to duty after they rejected calls to stay away from the job.

In downtown Port of Spain, the streets were littered with uniformed and plain clothes police officers, including regimental police officers from the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force.

Port of Spain CID Task Force officers led by Cpl Andre Lopez, including PCs Anderson Roberts and Nikruma Porter, were seen in crime hot spot areas in East Port of Spain, searching suspects.

Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Anti-Crime Operations , Mervyn Richardson, last week, warned criminal elements who were planning to capitalise on yesterday's police sickout action, to think again.

Public relations officer at the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, Capt Al Alexander, also commended the soldiers for the role they played on Monday saying that the army will lend its support to the police whenever it's deemed necessary.

Officers had threatened to call in sick and stay at home on Monday to "rest and reflect" to demonstrate their disgust with the Chief Personnel Officer's (CPO) offer of a five per cent increase in salaries.

On Friday, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, during a walkabout in downtown Port of Spain, warned officers who planned to stay away from work yesterday.

The two hardest hit divisions in absenteeism among police officers were the Northern and Western Divisions.

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