(St. Lucia News Online) — Travis Chicot, president of Saint Lucia’s Police Welfare Association (PWA), has expressed concern that some police officers are working without personal protective equipment (PPE), exposing them to the risk of catching the deadly novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
Chicot said in a statement Thursday, April 9 that he is also concerned about the “extra duties” being assigned to officers, including guarding supermarkets, which he argues “stretches the human resource” of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF).
Thousands of NYC cops infected
He noted that over 1,000 police officers in New York City, USA have been infected by the virus due to “improper practices when coming into contact with others”.
Chicot said he has observed, in a number of social media videos, local officers not using PPEs. He also noted the “indiscipline and selfishness of our countrymen and women” in these viral videos.
In regards to officers being posted at supermarkets, Chicot said: “The extended times granted to supermarkets will pose extra demands on the officers and therefore, the requisite resources should be issued to them to effectively carry out their duties. At present, the Police Welfare Association does not find it necessary to have police officers stationed at the various supermarkets but suggest that periodical checks be conducted on the premises.”
BELOW IS THE PWA PRESIDENT’S FULL STATEMENT
This morning I approach you in the most humble position as your president. I have been seeing a number of videos on social media circulating of the indiscipline and selfishness of our countrymen and women. I am indeed concerned by the approach of the police in the handling of these matters. One of my major concerns is the capabilities of officers discharging their duties professionally but to operate in this pandemic with little to no resources such as PPEs.
The president of the SLMDA stated and I quote, “operating without PPE and mask is a suicidal mission,” end quote.
I know our passion, dedication to saving our country have always been at the forefront of our minds and we want to operate as we would in any other circumstance.
I urge members to continue acting professionally and to understand we are operating under a state of emergency. We must treat every individual as if they are a positive case of COVID-19. Bear in mind the situation in Ney York City as it relates to their officers. Over 1,000 members have been infected due to improper practices when coming into contact with others.
Noting, the size of our population as well as our institution, this should serve as an example to force us to adhere to the strict protocols outlined by our COVID-19 SOP and to ensure we wear our PPE’s. The extended times granted to supermarkets will pose extra demands on the Officers and therefore, the requisite resources should be isssued to them to effectively carry out their duties.
At present, the Police Welfare Association does not find it necessary to have Police Officers stationed at the various supermarkets but suggest that periodical check be conducted on the premises.
These extra duties stretches the human resource of the RSLPF. These officers have families and needs that cannot be met due to the allocated times for them to carry out the business. The shift system of the RSLPF commences at 6 a.m. Most of them are deployed at that time. The PWA is humbly suggesting that police officers with valid identification to have access to business places at any given point during operational hours.
In closing, I beg of you to operate more vigilantly and to be careful during this pandemic. This situation is real and should not be underestimated.