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Deputy Commissioner of Police McDonald Jacob.

Assurances from Deputy Commissioner of Police McDonald Jacob that the police will be doing everything in their power to ensure public safety and stability when the current State of Emergency is called off.

The assurances come in the wake of five brutal murders recorded yesterday, and another two coming to light this morning.  The two latest killings involve two men known only as Rashidi and Brent, both of whom died in a shooting incident at St Paul Street in Port of Spain, just before midnight.

The current State of Emergency, which went into effect in May 2021, would naturally have expired at the end of this month (November 2021), but on Saturday last, Prime Minister Dr keith Rowley indicated his intention to put a motion before Parliament—today, Wednesday 17th November 2021—to have the SoE end.  Dr Rowley stated on Saturday the SoE had served its purpose.

The PM had also said the National Security Minister is charged with ensuring security forces were up to the task of maintaining law and order.

Speaking on CNC3’s “The Morning Brew with Jason Williams”, the Deputy Police Commissioner observed that crime typically increases around Christmas, especially offences such as larceny, property damage and personal robbery.  He says the TTPS is ready to respond to the potential threat.

“There is an expectation in the society that some form of criminality will increase, but that doesn’t mean at all that it will happen,” he said. 

“If you are dealing with an organisation that is intelligence driven, with persons able to understand and interpret the data coming in, it is obvious that you will put things in place to prevent it from happening,” he asserts.

DCP Jacob told Guardian Media the Police Service has already worked on a plan in conjunction with the Defence Force, and that this plan also will consider the number of police officers out of the system due to COVID-19.

“We have designed a plan in order to deal with it,” he confirmed.

“We have shifted around officers in order to cover the gaps.  Some officers are now at the point where they are burnt out,” DCP Jacobs admitted, “but we tried to manage as best as we can in order to deal with the SoE.”

He added: “We are fortunate because normally around this time of year, we organise ourselves and intensify our activities to deal with the Christmas period, and the high level of shopping and activities that surround the advent of Christmas.  So, in that planning, all we have to do on this occasion is to overlay it with the removal of the SoE.”

On Tuesday, 25 officers were placed in quarantine because of exposure to COVID-19, while seven tested positive.  The deputy top cop confirmed that 55 to 60 per cent of all police officers are vaccinated, and he is confident in their capacity.