POLICE WOES TROUBLING

165

Dear Editor,
Can you kindly publish our concerns in your widely read newspaper? These concerns are from a group of us at the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF). We sincerely hope you can. We are under severe emotional and physical stress and pain and as the saying goes “ALL Work and No Play makes Jack a dull boy”. This saying, in reality, affects Po­lice Officers and their families in a massive way.
Statistics have shown that Police Officers attached to the Guard and Emergency Branch G.E.B and the Inter-Agency Task Force suffer the most. They are required to work 24 hours by 24 hours and in some instances 24 hours by 48 hours.
Remember it is not quality or numbers of hours worked, it is the quality of hours you genuinely give that matters and if we are to give of our best then our hours of work should be reviewed.

An interview with one of our officers will reveal that 95% of the Police Officers in these sec­tions experience the following:

  1. Failed marriages and rela­tionships
  2. Children involved in crime
  3. Emotionally disturbed Of­ficers
  4. Angry individuals.
  5. Officers with suicidal ten­dencies
    The cry is Mr. Commissioner please re-visit our Working Hours and save us and our families from destruction.
    Only one week ago a young of­ficer working at I.A.T.F. took his own life and if our concerns are not met promptly who knows, other officers may choose suicide as the only way out.
    There are many other heart-rending stories affecting officers but we do not wish to compro­mise our immediate concerns at this point.
    On behalf of a group of very
    worried and concerned Police
    Officers

When contacted Police Com­missioner Gary Griffith did confirm that the men have been working the hours stated and that things are in train to change that since the present system is cost­ing the Police Service over $300m dollars in overtime and that this is a haemorrhage on the budget of the Police Service. Moreover, he says that in many instances due to the Police Regulations, officers of these Divisions should not be working for more than four con­secutive hours on duty and what is happening, therefore, is that in many cases officers are being paid to sleep after they complete their four-hour shift.
Commissioner Griffith said that the measures he is about to implement will allow the of­ficers to spend more time with their families and, at the same time, save the Police annual budget some $200m.
Another senior Police Officer who asked to remain anony­mous was also asked to com­ment on the matter. He gave a long steuups and stated that the Police Officers in those Di­visions have no real problems but their wives, girlfriends and concubines do since they only have their company one in every four nights per
week!