The National Security Council (NSC) on Wednesday gave approval for acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams to purchase more than 300 vehicles to form a rapid response unit.
These vehicles will be used for normal police work as well as for swift deployment within each police district.
This was disclosed by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who sat alongside Grenada Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, who was in Trinidad and attended yesterday’s post-Cabinet news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister in St Clair.
The NSC also agreed that starting next month, 2,000 Special Reserve Police (SRPs) officers will go for training to enhance their ability to work alongside regular police officers. This would increase manpower, she said.
The Prime Minister said security-related issues would be one of the prime areas of discussion between United States Vice President Joe Biden and Caribbean leaders later this month.
Mitchell is one of the first Caribbean leaders to signal that he would attend the Biden meeting.
On Grenada’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Mitchell said Grenada had recognised that it must deal appropriately with the international community.
“We have signalled to the IMF that we need their support, but of course we are only going to accept a programme that is in the interest of Grenada and Caricom,” he said.
Noting that he had been in government before and the IMF knows him and he them, he said: “We know what is best for our country. So we are going to be discussing this new formula in the context of what is best for the country. We’ll work things out. But Grenada would be in charge of the process.”
On the repayment of loans to Taiwan, he said the problem has lessened considerably and meetings would be taking place soon to reduce the tensions between the two countries and to work out an appropriate formula to meet Grenada’s responsibilities and the Taiwanese expectations.
“Things are moving in an appropriate direction. And the United States and the Chinese are helpful in that respect,” he said.
Mitchell said he was informed yesterday morning of a third major drug bust as a result of the radar system which Trinidad and Tobago has set up with Grenada.
Mitchell disclosed that Grenada faced the same problem of cellphones being used in jails, as Trinidad and Tobago does.
“When I came into government, I found out that the problem was quite massive. A senior official of government responsible for looking after the system indicated that they received a call from a person asking for a top up of his cellphone. When they asked ‘where are you?’ The person said: ‘I am in the prison’.”
He said his government had appointed a new commissioner of police. He added that there were two occasions when people were scaling walls to go inside the prison.
“Usually, people scale walls to get out of the prisons,” he quipped.
He said his government had sent the message that it was not going to tolerate this kind of situation.
It was also disclosed yesterday that the Trinidad and Tobago Cabinet took the decision to bring 55 nurses from St Vincent to address the shortage of nurses here.