In a bid to cut back on costs, as they currently owe suppliers $182 million, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service is seeking to have more police stations re-purposed – seven to be exact.
The seven, according to a Newsday report, are Four Roads (Diego Martin); San Juan sub-station; the Arima Police Station; Mayaro; St Madeleine and St Margaret’s police stations (San Fernando) and Cap de Ville Police Station (Point Fortin).
The TTPS has spent $20,100,000 in rentals over the past five years, in addition to the annual $19.9 million to run the 77 police stations/posts throughout the country.
A recent report stated that the TTPS is also trying to reduce its annual expenditure on rent and as such buildings that are owned by the TTPS are being refurbished to accommodate additional and different units to reduce spending taxpayers’ money on rent.”
Four Roads, Arima and Mayaro are to be transformed into virtual courts; San Juan sub-station will become the Traffic Investigations Unit to provide assistance with traffic management in the division; the St Madeleine and St Margaret’s police stations will house homicide and Fraud Squad and the Gender-Based Violence Unit and Sexual Offences Unit for the southern and south western divisions, and the Cap de Ville Police Station will be used to accommodate the municipal police as a base and will be working along with police officers.
Recently, the police commissioner stated that “Re-purposing stations mandates that officers have increased foot patrols, motorcycle patrols where applicable and mobile patrols. This means that officers are not in stations waiting to be called to the scene of a crime but are patrolling and can respond faster and even disrupt and prevent crimes of opportunity.”
Six police stations have already been re-purposed -: Barataria, Moriah (Tobago), San Rafael, Blanchisseuse, St Mary’s and Brasso.