Cabinet yesterday announced the setting up of a special fund with a start-up of $1 million to look after the families of national security officers killed or injured in the line of duty.
National Security Minister Brigadier John Sandy said the fund would begin with $1,076,000 from the Finance Ministry.
Speaking at the post-Cabinet news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister in St Clair, Sandy also announced that April 26 would be designated National Securities Officers Day and would be observed annually.
He said this was to commemorate the deaths of four fire officers and two members of the Defence Force on April 26, 1988 in the line of duty at Omega, Chaguaramas.
Sandy added that a wall of honour and a hall of fame would be established where those serving and those who served would be recognised.
"What we are trying to do is to honour both fallen and serving military and public safety officers and provide tangible support for their respective families. As you would imagine, in most instances when an officer dies or is injured in the course of his duty, he, in most instances, is the breadwinner of the family, and as such, we need to take care of our military and protective services families," said Sandy.
Since 1937, he said, a total of 95 officers, including those in the Police Service, Prisons Service, Defence Force, Customs and Excise Division, municipal police and supplemental police, died during duty.
The entire programme, including the administration of the fund, will be managed by a board of directors.
Sandy said the aims and objectives of this board who will head the national securities officers foundation will include:
1. To honour and remember national security officers who died in the line of duty.
2. To pay tribute to national security officers who continue to serve with distinction despite the odds by issuing commendations and or medals where warranted.
3. Provide scholarships and other forms of financial assistance to eligible dependents of fallen officers.
4. Serve as a support mechanism to assist survivors in coping with and overcoming the loss of their loved ones.
5. Collaborate public and private sector organisations, on behalf of national security officers and their families, to assist in prioritising access to housing, medical and other socio-economic benefits.
6. Enhance and strengthen the relationship between National Security agencies.
7. Establish sustainable partnerships with the corporate sector to provide support for national security officers and their families.
8. Maintain a website hosting a database for inductees of the national security officers memorial and recipients of national security awards.