The proposed police station in crime-torn Enterprise community is being described as a plaster on a sore by Police Service Social and Welfare Association president Insp Michael Seales.
Speaking about the proposal yesterday, Seales said the Longdenville Police Post and the Chaguanas Police Station were already in close proximity to the community and would allow police to respond to any issue there.
In Senate last Tuesday, National Security Minister Edmund Dillon had announced it was Government’s intention to build a permanent police station in Enterprise as part of the overall crime fighting plan.
But Seales yesterday said this a “knee-jerk response.”
“Also, look at the proximity of the officers stationed at Lion’s Gate... how closer can you get to Enterprise than those three key locations. If you are going to build that, then every community who has these types of concerns is going to say the same thing,” Seales told the T&T Guardian in a telephone interview.
However, he said if this was one of the Government’s firm plans, the association would not stand in its way. But he said building a police station was not the only solution, as other measures must also be implemented.
“The same thing was happening in Laventille and we have not built a station there. But because of the activities of Laventille and Beetham in the past, you had the interaction of the Inter-Agency Task Force existing as a consequence of those activities,” Seales said.
He said this was the “same philosophy” which therefore must be transferred to Enterprise, urging Government to re-look at its response strategy. This strategy, Seales urged, must be carefully backed up by scientific data.
“You need to add some data to it, that drives the thought process in making a better decision rather than an off-the-cuff decision and always looking at the potential of always putting a plaster on a sore,” Seales said.
In Senate, Dillon had announced that the National Security Council had decided to construct a police station in the middle of Enterprise in “the shortest possible time.”
The station, he had said, would involve police and Defence Force personnel who would deal with the gang warfare killings which have torn Enterprise apart in recent weeks.
He had said also the NSC believed a permanent police station would also pay the appropriate attention to what has been going on in the area. He noted there had been a reduction of crime in Soogrim Trace, Laventille, where an army/police post was established.