Sunday, December 17, 2017

Benefits for Manwaring's wife, children

THE wife and children of fallen Police Sergeant Hayden Manwaring will be the first to benefit from the National Security Officers Foundation (NSOF).

The NSOF was established to assist families who have lost loved ones in the line of duty.

President of the Police Social and Welfare Association Anand Ramesar yesterday said the foundation would provide scholarships to the officer's children and assistance to meet cost-of-living expenses.

"Some of the things available are scholarships for the children of the police officers until they are adults throughout that period, there would be funding for the family and there would be subsistence available to meet with the expenses of living and other costs.

"There is a lot of improvement over the last couple of months and I think Mr Manwaring would be the first person who would be benefiting from the launching of NSOF," Ramesar said.

The NSOF—which honours members of protective services who die while in service, and helps surviving dependents—was launched by National Security Minister Jack Warner at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya, last year.

Ramesar said, "The association will also welcome compensation to families by way of insurance. The membership is in support of it. The association would have made some efforts in that area, but we have been constrained financially.

"The issue of the compensation of $1 million by way of insurance is not something on board yet, and really is something that should be on board for some time now," he said.

Following the death of Police Constable Anil Persad in May 2011, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said Government planned to increase compensation packages offered to bereaved families of law enforcement officers who are killed in the line of duty.

Persad was shot in an exchange of gunfire during a raid in the Cuche/Charuma forest. 

Persad-Bissessar said Government was reviewing legislation to increase compensation for families of members of the protective services killed in the line of duty. 

"Money of course cannot bring back a life but, at the moment the package is very, very small for all the protective services. It is something we are giving consideration to," she had said.

Sgt Manwaring, a father of two, was not wearing his bulletproof vest when he responded to a robbery at a fast food outlet at Cipero Street, San Fernando, on Tuesday.

Manwaring and Detective Constable Nicholas Phillip were shot near the National Academy for Performing Arts south campus. He died at the Intensive Care Unit of the San Fernando General Hospital from massive blood loss.

Phillip, who was shot in the arm, was treated and discharged.

Ramesar said he was concerned about protective gear for police officers.

"Protective gear has always been an issue. There are bulletproof vests available for all police officers, but sometimes you do not have enough in supply to meet that," he said.

Ramesar said officers should not be on patrol without vests, and appealed to the authorities to introduce the proposed new uniform for police officers.

"The police association treated with this issue quite a while now, through its presentation of the proposed uniform change. We have our police shirts with bulletproof vests embedded in that shirt so it is really about a culture now for officers to wear the vests," he said.