The Police Welfare Association (PWA) wants an end to the suspension of police officers, comparing the practice to being on remand.
“The only difference is that they are out and they are getting half pay,” PWA President, Travis Chicot told reporters on Wednesday.
“Suspension of officers – we believe as a Welfare Association should be a practice that should be stopped within the organisation,” Chicot said.
He spoke on Wednesday as the PWA met with officers who are on suspension pending the outcome of a number of matters.
Chicot said the PWA’s new executive had reached out to the officers to discuss their situation and determine how their issues can be resolved.
He disclosed that some of the officers have been on prolonged suspension amounting to up to eight years in some instances.
The PWA President said the police officers are still a part of the association and the RSLPF.
“These members have said it in the open, they have said it to members that they believe as contributing members to the welfare association they are being left out and you have promotions going on, you have key matters in the organisation where they do not have a say,” Chicot explained.
He asserted that some of the suspended members are ‘brilliant’ officers.
“Why should they even go on suspension?” Chicot said.
He observed that currently in the entire RSLPF there are some ten police officers on suspension, all of whom are police constables or special police constables.
Chicot said that normally when officers are reported for criminal activities they are suspended by the hierarchy of the force as they await trial.
According to him, the PWA was meeting with the officers to discuss the situation.
“We are not the professionals, but as an organisation we can always bring it back to our general membership which we are supposed to meet with on Friday,” Chicot stated, adding that as an organisation the PWA is looking at the way forward for the suspended officers.
“We understand their plight. It is a very difficult situation, especially in the times that we are living in to be on half pay,” he said.
Chicot said the PWA will do whatever it can to assist.