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A social media post of police officers of the COVID-19 Task Force on enquiries. Police Commissioner Gary Griffith said they are legitimate officers.

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith says there is a Police COVID-19 Task Force. He has dismissed social media posts, which suggest that police officers carrying out their legitimate duties, are imposters.

Griffith has confirmed that the men depicted in the picture are police officers carrying out a legitimate function.

The photograph has been circulated via social media suggesting that the men were police imposters. Griffith has reminded the public that the Police Service carries out several functions on behalf of the Ministry of Health, to manage the COVID-19 virus. He said such activity is generally coordinated by Assistant Commissioner Wendell Williams throughout Trinidad and Tobago.

A statement from the Police Service said the police visits, coordinated by Williams, are largely to restore or establish communication between County Medical Officers of Health and COVID-19 positive individuals.

In the statement Griffith said he established a COVID Task Force in 2020 to assist the Ministry of Health, in particular to ensure among other things, that quarantined people remain at home.

He said the Police Service had received reports that people in quarantine, or COVID-19 positive, had been seen in the public. Griffith said Williams is easily reachable on COVID matters.

“So, the police officer who reportedly advised the publisher of the social media posts that the TTPS has no COVID-19 Task Force, either misled the citizen or was misquoted,” Griffith said in the release.

He added that Williams coordinates a functional network of police officers within all divisions and some branches of the Police Service to fulfil those MoH requests. Police officers carrying out these visits, identify themselves as police officers.

He said if citizens are unsure, they can ask to see the officer’s ID and badge, which the officer is obliged to produce. Their visits, he said, are generally non-intrusive by word or action. At this level of visit, Griffith said police officers do not board premises but communicate from a safe distance. “The information they require are also simple and reasonable, and pose no risk to the citizen,” he added.