LETTER: Exposing the Neglect By PM Browne & AG Benjamin on the Police, Fire Brigade and Prison Officers

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Dear Editor,

The Police, Fire Brigade and Prison officers have been neglected and used by the Gaston Browne administration for the past 8 years thus far and enough is enough.

Currently what obtains in the Police Force is very poor (inhumane) working condition at Police Stations across the island, severe lack of proper sanitation for officers and not even drinking water which is mandatory to have for officers is lacking there to quench one’s thirst.

If the public had first hand conditions behind the scenes of the type of conditions Police officers have to endure it would make one throw up and bawl shame, shame, shame!

Also, the thing we call (allegedly medical insurance) is a disgrace in itself and most time officers has to pay out of their own pocket and when you go to the government treasury to get reimbursed you are given the run about and for every time an officer get sick it just builds up the amount of money owed.

There was even an officer who was sick earlier in the year who sadly passed away and it’s alleged he was owed in the thousands and he never got that money while he was alive.

The current minister promised officers there would be a reform of the medical insurance a few years back and a few years later nothing has been done to address this dreadful situation.

Now onto the Fire Brigade. I don’t know if the public remembered that the minister of national security Mr. Benjamin made a commitment to have the Fire Brigade separate from the Police Force. A build was to come before the Parliament to officially separate the Fire Brigade from the Police Force.

I was an officer who used to be attached to the Fire Brigade and I am of the opinion having the Fire Brigade attached to the Police Force is more of an hinderance to that department anything.

I know for fact that the recommendation was to have the Fire Brigade separated from the Police Force and for them to be attached to the EMS of this country but the minister maybe has other plans for that department unbeknown to the Fire Brigade.

Since I joined the Fire Brigade in 2009 the Fire Brigade has ALWAYS been UNSTAFFED. What currently obtains at the time I was there and now is that a lot of officers are working overtime to fill the shift (because the government refuses to hire more officers) and when they go to claim their overtime they can’t get and it just build up to an unsustainable amount of overtime owed.

Finally, Lord forbids that one of the Fire Tenders goes out of service, because the Fire Tenders were sourced from here, there and everywhere the wait times to get parts to fix these tenders and even to source the part for these Fire Tenders we are going to be in a spot of bother.

In the past when I was attached to that Department, the Tenders would be sourced from one source market so that it we easier to source parts and service the Tenders.

Finally addressing the issues of Prison officers. It is completely UNTRUE the reason Prison officers are upset is because the Police have taken charge of the security at the Prison.

The working conditions are extremely poor, the bathrooms are unusable to the point Prison officers have to use ARG bathroom facility to release themselves which is absolutely appalling.

Also, the Prison officers like the Fire Brigade is SEVERELY understaffed and many officer has to work overtime to ensure the shift has the staff needed to man the prison.

Them too, like the Fire Brigade officers when they go to the treasury to collect their overtime, cannot receive it and are given the run around.

It’s silly season, and the government is hiring here there and everywhere, so if they can send some that you are hiring to the Prison and Fire Brigade to because we need to increase staff number in those departments it would be greatly appreciated.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne and Minister AG Benjamin please do better and stop with your false promises and address the needs of the Police, Fire Brigade and Prison officers so that they can have a good working environment to work in so that they can serve the people of this country.

N Browne

Senior Officer

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