The Grenada Organisation of the New York Police Department (NYPD) has provided the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) with 99 protective vests at a cost of over US $11,000 to aid its men and women in uniform in carrying out their tasks.
The presentation was made last Thursday by Grenadian-born NYPD Lieutenant, Nimrod Ollivierre, who is also known as a major promoter of one of the White shows in the annual carnival festival.
In making the presentation in the presence of a number of high-ranking members of the local police force, Ollivierre, who is a frequent contributor to RGPF, said the idea to provide the force with the vests came about as a result of the unfortunate killing of an officer on duty in May 2016.
He was referring to the slaying of Cpl. Daniel Edgar from a gunshot wound to his chest when he responded to a hostage situation in St. Mark’s involving someone believed to have had a mental problem.
He said the original intention was to provide relief to the wife of the deceased which was done and then to assist local police officers who were called out to undertake such assignments as Cpl. Edgar.
“…We did a fundraiser and the first set of funds we gave it to the widow. We decided that we’re going to raise some funds among ourselves and do another event so that we could start getting some vests.
According to Ollivierre, the goal of the Grenada Organisation in New York is to have every member of RGPF equipped with vests but hoped that they will never have to use them due to the relatively low crime rate in the country.
He said: “Grenada is a paradise, each and every one of you here should be really, really proud of how low the crime is in Grenada. That is a testament. That is saying that (1) there is good community relationship; that is saying that the rank and file, the members are doing a damn good job.
“I am saying all of that to say, yes, we are providing the vests but it is because we know the potential of what could possibly happen…we are embarking on an effort to prepare for what could possibly happen,” he added.
Nimrod stated that the short-term goal of the NY group is to provide another 500 vests to the police force.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Franklyn Redhead who accepted the package on behalf of RGPF noted that the vests would go a long way in assisting officers in carrying out their tasks.
Stating that Grenada has limited financial resources to go around with, DCP Redhead said that the island often has “to collaborate with various partners in ensuring that we have the wherewithal to operate effectively”.
“…It is in this context that we welcome this initiative from the NYPD and other members in terms of providing the necessary support going forward in (helping) the RGPF to become even more effective in its mandate”, he said.
The No.2 man in RGPF dropped hints that despite Grenada’s relatively low crime rate the island is mindful of the situation existing in other islands such as Guyana, Trinidad, and Barbados with escalating crime figures.
“…Certainly, in my mind I should not have said this but it has to be said – to me it is a harbinger of things yet to come. So, we have to be prepared for when the storm hits us and one of the ways of doing that is intensifying our collaborative efforts, with various stakeholders, who have an interest in seeing that the RGPF becomes more efficient and increase its efficacy as we go forward,” said Deputy Commissioner Redhead.
Grenada is known to have one of the lowest crime rates in the English-speaking Caribbean especially among murders.