Security guards want access to high powered weapons for CIT operations

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Security guards want access to high powered weapons for CIT operations

Security guards should be allowed to use automatic weapons when conducting cash-in-transit (CIT) operations.

That’s the view of president of the Estate Police Association (EPA) Deryck Richardson, who made the call while speaking at a news conference at the EPA’s headquarters in Marabella on Tuesday.

The media briefing came on the heels of the death of Telecoms Security guard Hasely Augustine.

Augustine and three colleagues were depositing cash at an RBC ATM at DS Plaza at Chin Chin Road in Cunupia at around 11.30 am on August 17 when five gunmen, some with high-powered weapons, ambushed them. Augustine was shot and killed while struggling with one of the suspect.

Richardson observed this incident happened almost a year after the deadly Pennywise shooting at La Romaine under similar circumstances while officers were carrying cash in transit.

Richardson said the EPA has since written to Commissioner of Police (CoP) Erla Harewood-Christopher to discuss their needs, in light of these crimes.

He hoped to discuss with her mandatory protocols to let private security guards and estate police officers doing CIT activities use automatic weapons to protect themselves against better-armed criminals. He said estate police officers and security guards are only armed with pistols, revolvers and shotguns.

“You can’t send me to fight a war with a slingshot.”

Richardson said officers would also need to be properly trained in the use of automatic weapons and equipped with higher-grade bulletproof vests that could better protect them against ammunition used by assault rifle-wielding criminals.

Richardson reiterated the association’s concerns about companies not providing security officers with proper bulletproof vests and poorly armoured vehicles to do their jobs.