The President of the Police Welfare Association (PWA), Travis Chicot, has joined Acting Prime Minister, Ezechiel Joseph, in praising the response of police officers to Tuesday’s bloody gun violence in downtown Castries.
The incident left one man dead and four others, including a student of the Vide Bouteille Primary School, nursing gunshot injuries.
Chicot asserted that because of what transpired in broad daylight during the afternoon rush hour, the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) may have to ‘re-strategise’.
However the PWA President told St Lucia Times that the response of police officers was very timely.
“I saw a number of various ranks on the ground making sure that they took over the crime scene and handling the situation. I must say congratulations to my police officers in terms of their level of professionalism and the officers who responded to secure Victoria Hospital where the persons were transported,” he stated.
According to Chicot, it demonstrates that the RSLPF has national security as a key priority.
News reports have indicated that one of the gunmen involved in Tuesday’s shooting incident was shot and wounded by the police.
The gun violence is believed to be gang-related, it has been reported.
“It is quite apparent that we definitely would need more human resources in terms of recruitment because our numbers continue to remain at an all-time low. We call on the employer to speed up the process in addressing our rate of attrition which is very high,” Travis Chicot told St Lucia Times.
He disclosed that between January and the present, a number of police officers have either resigned, retired or migrated to greener pastures.
“We say kudos to those who are on the ground – the manpower that we have, but it is also a good time for us to really bring more boots on the ground in terms of recruiting,” the PWA President asserted.
“More boots on the ground, the more visible the police become, the easier it is to deter those who want to commit crime. We are aware that crime is a function of society, but we also realise that another function of the society is for the police to police their jurisdiction,” he remarked.