RANDOM drug and lie detector tests for all police officers are being proposed by the government as a means of arresting the country’s crime situation, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said yesterday.
Members of the Government and Opposition yesterday met at the Parliament Building, Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, Wrightson Road, Port of Spain to discuss ways of addressing the country’s crime problem.
“I raised very forcefully the matter of mandatory drug testing for all police officers and mandatory polygraph testing for all police officers not only upon entry into the Police Service but also intermittently and periodically, random drug and polygraph testing for all police officers and in particular, those serving in sensitive units in the Police Service,” Ramlogan said.
“I feel very strongly about this matter, I think it is important that we understand that despite our best efforts the operational aspects of the Police Service will be compromised. If you have one bad apple it will spoil the whole bunch,” he said.
Ramlogan said the random tests to ensure that police officers were not “leaking” information to criminals were “long overdue”.
“To this end I think random drug testing and polygraph testing, lie detector testing for police officers to ensure they are not leaking information or not in league with the criminals and undermining the efforts of the Police Service is an idea that is long overdue in Trinidad and Tobago,” Ramlogan said.
Also being considered is a “one strike and you’re out” policy for bail.
“I proposed an idea for an amendment to the Bail Act which would say one strike and you are out. If you have been convicted for a violent crime, a gun-related offence or an offence involving drug trafficking or drug possession above a certain amount then, if within ten years, you are subsequently charged for the same offence I propose to use the anti-gang formula where you are denied bail for 120 days after which time you can apply for bail and it will be a matter for a judge to decide at his discretion whether or not bail ought to be granted based on the readiness of the prosecution to commence the trial,” Ramlogan said.
The two teams are scheduled to meet again next week to continue discussions.