Traffic cops armed against sunlight
Traffic cops are now better armed in defense against the sun, after $5,000 worth of sunglasses were donated to them by the One St Vincent Group (OSV group) Spectacle Shoppe last Friday.
Twenty-four pairs of sunglasses were handed over to the Commissioner of Police (COP) Colin John for the traffic department of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF) at the Police Headquarters last Friday, June 14.
The Manager of the “Spectacle Shoppe” of the OSV group, Stephen Sutherland, explained that the company took the decision to make this donation because “we think very much that there is the need for protection from the sun and exposure to the elements outside. We observe a lot of officers outside there directly exposed to sunlight which we know can cause problems in the eyes, there is a number of issues that can arise from direct exposure to the sun.”
He noted that it was an “esteemed privilege” for them to be able to handover the glasses to the officers who, “provide such a service to the nation” and ensure that their eye health is looked after.
The Senior Optometrist at the Spectacle Shoppe, Dr Ike Duru mentioned three of the issues that can result as too much exposure of sunlight to the eyes. One of these is causing pterygium, “Pterygium is the piece of flesh you can probably see on people’s eyes grows from one corner and threatens to get into the centre of the eye, and that’s due to sun, and dust.”
While Cataracts (a clouding of the lens) is something that older persons in their 60s or 70s have to contend with, the Doctor explained that if there is excess exposure to sunlight it may bring it on.
“There is also another condition that has to do with the inflammation of the white of the eye, called Scleritis,” Duru explained.
Sutherland noted both male and female styles of sunglasses were being donated.
“The majority of them are polarized lens. All of them are 100% UV protection which gives the maximum protection,” he commented, noting that polarized sunglasses block out the glare completely as an added benefit.
The Commissioner thanked the Spectacle Shoppe for the “valuable and generous” donation, and he stated that he hoped the officers from the traffic department would make full use of them. “A blind police officer can’t direct traffic,” he stated, while asking that they protect their eyes.
“You have no control over the sunlight, but you have control over how you can protect your eyes from the sunlight and I’m really thankful to you for giving these sunglasses to us,” he commented.
The OSV group gifted one of those sunglasses to the Commissioner, and he and two officers from the traffic department, Sergeant 444 Kelly Jones and WPC 550 Esther McBarnette got first pick of the sunglasses.
WPC McBarnette, whose eyes were visibly red when she spoke to SEARCHLIGHT, and who is a cyclist in the department, said that the sunglasses will be very useful, and that they would use them every day.
“Because we work from 6:45 in the morning till roughly 5:30 in the evenings…” she noted, admitting that her eyes were burning her.