Tight Carnival Monday security
PORT OF SPAIN – More than 1,000 police officers and 300 soldiers are on duty to provide a safe and secure Carnival’s climax, with the official street party that started this morning with J’Ouvert celebrations.
Members of the protective services were out in full force from 1 a.m. today, well before J’Ouvert started at 4 a.m., until the Ash Wednesday cool down parties.
Brigadier General Kenrick Maharaj said yesterday approximately 300 soldiers (a full company) will provide joint security with the Police Service to ensure that masqueraders, who will be out in their thousands for the two days of revelry, can party in safety. “For the past number of years we have been given a joint opportunity with police,” he said.
“We normally increase the number of personnel and all the areas have a joint military and police presence for security arrangements… We provide military support at all the Carnival centres.”
Maharaj said the military essentially maintains two groups of people during joint operations – officers who are on patrol, and quick reaction teams who will be at military installations when and if they are required.
“Given the nature of the current situation, we have reason to include the Air Guard, Coast Guard, the army and Police Service,” he said.
Asked if citizens should be concerned about their safety, he said: “Absolutely not.”
Alternate Gold Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Donald Denoon, said several stakeholders were consulted before the celebrations and they were happy with the manpower they had.
“We would be out in all our numbers to provide safety and security,” Denoon said. “We observed from prior Carnival events that there was nothing major that happened because of the way we policed them. We trust over the next few days we will see the continued success we have been having in the pre-Carnival season.” He said lawmen from the Homicide Bureau, Anti-Corruption, Special Branch and other branches will pick up the slack by patrolling communities and downtown Port-of-Spain.
Police officers who were on vacation or other extended leave were recalled to ensure manpower was increased. (Guardian)