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Deputy PM urges police to keep cool, even when provoked

Deputy PM urges police to keep cool, even when provoked


Deputy Prime Minister Sir Louis Straker has urged police officers to act fairly, justifiably and with a respect for life when exercising their duties.

“You are vested with the authority of the State – your uniform and your guns, but you must realize that with that authority comes the responsibility of knowing how and when to use the weapons in your hand,” he said.

“Any machine can let loose bullets and kill people, but you have been trained in such a way that you would know how to protect human rights, how to deal with the people in your community, not to terrorize them, but to be co-labourers with them in the maintenance of peace and security.”{{more}}

While addressing officers last Friday at the closing of the Regional Security System (RSS) Training Institute Basic Course 1, Straker urged officers to know how to act even when provoked.

“You are to remember that within your communities we all are linked together by bonds of friendship and blood relationship and therefore, you have to exercise patience and tolerance and even [though] you might feel that you ought to let loose your weapon and put someone out of the way, you are to take a second look and a second chance in thinking whether this is absolutely necessary.”

While drawing their attention to recent shootings by police in the United States, Straker encouraged officers to not be trigger-happy, but to act honourably and do the best they can.

He, however, added that officers should not cower in fear from criminals who would want to harm them or create disasters in the communities.

“You must act with firmness and resoluteness in preventing a worse disaster by taking care of them and exercising the appropriate measure,” he said.

The deputy prime minister also warned officers not to protect officers who have done wrong by covering up and lying for them.

“You must speak the truth!” he asserted.

Sir Louis said this must be done, even if it unpopular to do so. He said they should rebuke their fellow officers about taking the law into their hands and let them know that what they have done is not in keeping with the best practices of the organization.

He reminded them that police officers are not the law, but are to uphold it.

“It’s always good to remember that mercy tempers justice and the execution of the law.”

The deputy prime minister further stated that the tide of lawlessness should be turned, particularly in drug trafficking, human trafficking and gun trafficking.

“We cannot allow these things to just go on and we realize that you sometimes are under the gun, but you must exercise your duties fairly, justifiably and with the realization that life is a very sacred thing and if you can shoot to maim, it is better than to shoot to kill.” (AS)