President of the Police Welfare Association Camron Laure has said he is surprised by the poor working conditions of officers in the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) but he believes buying new furnishings will not solve the problems.
In an exclusive interview with St. Lucia News Online (SNO) on Tuesday, July 7, sources disclosed that the CID is plagued by bed bug infestation, dilapidated office furnishings, and malfunctioning computers.
But Laure told SNO on Wednesday, July 8 that he believes the officers’ homes need to be treated as well to eliminate the bug infestation. He said he was informed that the office was treated twice for bug infestation, but it keeps reoccurring.
The association welfare president said had the officers made an official report with his association, they would have assisted in making sure that the issue is addressed in a timely manner.
Laure said he was only made aware of the situation after reading the article on SNO.
However, Laure said he visited the department on Tuesday to assess the situation and was surprised that the officers had to work under those conditions.
The majority of the department’s computers were damaged during an island-wide power outage this year. At present, only two computers in the front of the office are operational.
Sources say about seven officers work per shift. This means that only two computers are available for seven officers on each shift, which puts a strain on recording information and investigations.
“These men (senior officers) not feeling it so they can say what they want. Constables are the ones being squeezed,” one of the sources had told SNO.
The administration of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force has indicated that plans are underway to fix the problem as new furniture was ordered.