Security ramped up throughout Trinidad for Carnival celebrations

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith

(Trinidad Guardian) Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith is us­ing drone tech­nol­o­gy as part of the TTPS’s ef­fort to en­sure pub­lic safe­ty and se­cu­ri­ty across the coun­try dur­ing the Car­ni­val cel­e­bra­tions.

Ad­dress­ing re­porters dur­ing a me­dia brief­ing at the Queen’s Park Sa­van­nah, Port-of-Spain, Grif­fith said drones will be di­rect­ed to dif­fer­ent ar­eas dur­ing the days of rev­el­ry and pro­vide live footage to all com­mand cen­tres. He said the drones are “go­ing to be able to pro­vide a lock-down and be able to mon­i­tor every­thing that is tak­ing place in re­al time”.

The drones would not on­ly be mon­i­tor­ing the move­ment of bands, mas­quer­aders and spec­ta­tors, but al­so the move­ment of the crim­i­nal el­e­ments fol­low­ing which the of­fi­cers will be re­de­ployed as and where nec­es­sary.

He al­so said 85 emer­gency pa­trols would be op­er­at­ing on the ground in the nine po­lice di­vi­sions on a 24-hour ba­sis through­out the fes­tiv­i­ties. This rep­re­sents just over nine or ten ve­hi­cles per di­vi­sion to pro­vide a “blan­ket” across the coun­try.

In­di­cat­ing the ve­hi­cles were all equipped with GPS track­ers, Grif­fith said, “This will en­sure they stay in their area of re­spon­si­bil­i­ty and they will al­so be mon­i­tored from an Op­er­a­tional Re­sponse Com­mand Cen­tre that has been ig­nit­ed at the Na­tion­al Op­er­a­tions Fu­sion Cen­tre.”

Adding there would be a mo­bile com­mand cen­tre sta­tioned at the QPS on Car­ni­val Mon­day, Grif­fith said it would be moved to the So­ca Drome, Jean Pierre Com­plex on Tues­day—so the au­thor­i­ties will be able to see every­thing that is hap­pen­ing in re­al time and feed back to of­fi­cers at the com­mand cen­tres.

Cor­po­ra­tions ready for J’Ou­vert rev­el­ry

Mean­while, all sys­tems are in place and se­cu­ri­ty mea­sures have been strength­ened to al­low safe rev­el­ry for J’Ou­vert cel­e­bra­tions 2019 through­out T&T.

Port-of-Spain May­or Joel Mar­tinez said, “Every­thing is well in place for to­mor­row.”

“Of course Port-of-Spain is ready for J’Ou­vert morn­ing. We are the city that car­ries Car­ni­val every year…That pro­duces one of the great­est show on earth and we are al­ways ready,” Mar­tinez said.

“All se­cu­ri­ty is in place. We col­lab­o­rat­ed with the Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice to sync with re­gard to op­er­a­tions. The Mu­nic­i­pal Po­lice will do some as­pects and the T&T Po­lice Ser­vice of­fi­cers will do their part and both will work to­geth­er. All mu­nic­i­pal of­fi­cers will be out and are al­ready out for this week­end,” he added.

Act­ing Ch­agua­nas May­or Faaiq Mo­hammed said in the Bor­ough of Ch­agua­nas the Mu­nic­i­pal Po­lice’s com­ple­ment has been in­creased to over 20 of­fi­cers man­ning the streets.

Mo­hammed, who did not dis­close the de­tails of a se­cu­ri­ty mech­a­nism that was tried out last year, said it was a suc­cess and added that the same will again be im­ple­ment­ed this year.

“We have had reg­u­lar meet­ings with the po­lice. Every­thing is in place and what we have done is cor­don off cer­tain streets and rev­ellers will be checked be­fore they en­ter the main area. We are hop­ing that all goes well and there are no un­fore­seen cir­cum­stances,” Mo­hammed said.

Chair­man of the Cou­va/Tabaquite/Tal­paro Re­gion­al Cor­po­ra­tion (CT­TRC) Hen­ry Awong said with­in the cor­po­ra­tion there are sev­er­al car­ni­val com­mit­tees, in­clud­ing Cou­va, Cara­pichaima, Tabaquite, Brazil, and Gas­par­il­lo, who are all re­spon­si­ble for plan­ning and ex­e­cut­ing Car­ni­val/J’Ou­vert ac­tiv­i­ties.

“From what I’m see­ing at this junc­ture we are ready! Cou­va has one of the biggest Car­ni­val cel­e­bra­tions—sev­en days of ac­tiv­i­ties and all is well so far,” Awong said.

“Our Mu­nic­i­pal Po­lice com­ple­ment has been in­creased to over 100 per cent and they will be work­ing to­geth­er with the TTPS in en­sur­ing a se­cure and ma­jor in­ci­dent-free Car­ni­val,” he added.

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