There is some uneasiness among Police Officers stationed at the Central Police Station on the Carenage in St. George’s as they have been ordered to provide Government Ministers with gasoline for their personal vehicles from the pump that is stationed there.
An Official within the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) informed
Newspaper that just over a month ago a notice went up at Central informing the lawmen there that authorisation has been given for Ministers of the ruling New National Party (NNP) government to fill up their gas tanks from the resources that are provided for police vehicles.
The source who spoke on condition of not being identified believes the new system of providing the Government Ministers with the gasoline will put additional pressure on Police Officers there.
He said the person assigned to deliver gas to at least two police vehicles every half hour may now have to give gas to as much as 12 vehicles.
It is not clear how regular the ministers will have to refuel their tanks from Central gas pump.
Checks made by this newspaper reveal that this never happened under the former Tillman Thomas-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.
A former government official said that ministers like all civil servants are entitled to a fixed travel allowance of $600.00 a month.
In addition, he said that ministers were afforded a gas allowance of $500.00 a month at any of the private service stations on the island.
“What I can tell you is that the ministers did not receive this $500.00 in cash in their hands. They could have go to any gas station of their choice and take up to $500.00 a month in gas. The gas station will then send in their bill and the Ministry of Finance will then make the payments.
“So if a Minister took more than $500.00 in gas from this particular station on a monthly basis then he (the Minister) would have to pay for the extra. It would be interesting to find out if the NNP Ministers are not getting this $500 in cash in their hands and still taking free gas from the police.
According to the ex-government official, this move on the part of the Keith Mitchell-led government could put some financial strain on the budget allocation of the police force.
The sources indicated that the new system introduced by the new administration could compromise the RGPF and make some feel that its members were politically aligned to the NNP which returned to government last February.
“The Police Force that should be independent and neutral is now aligned with the government, this is something that should not happen. It calls into question the independence of the Police Force,” he said.