With the Peace Officers Programme discontinued as of April 30, authorities confirm that alternative options are under consideration for its 173 wardens.
For instance, the Commissioner of Police is considering appointing select wardens as Reserves after Special Police Constables in the service are upgraded to Constables.
In a Senate Sitting on May 6, Minister for National Security and Home Affairs, Hon. Hermangild Francis, acknowledged the success of the programme since it began in December.
He hopes that wardens can be incorporated into other relevant state services.
“This was a seven-month-long programme. It has come to an end but the government is actively looking for finances [to continue] because we recognize the importance of the COVID wardens, and so we are making allocations so that they can be paid [upon resumption of their duties]. We don’t want to have persons employed and two or three months down the line we are not able to pay them. We want to ensure that they are paid regularly like any other civil servant, so this is the reason why the project has been shelved for a little while, but we intend to continue.”
Minister Francis returns to official duty after recovering from an asymptomatic bout of COVID-19 infection. He encourages the public to get vaccinated.
“Unfortunately, I gave it to my dear wife and she suffered, but I think because it helped us tremendously that we had already received the first dose of the vaccine.”
As such, the minister encourages the public to get vaccinated.
He cautioned that the symptoms of COVID-19 can be severe or even fatal to those most at risk like the elderly or those with underlying medical conditions.