Griffith: Drones, bodycams in force over Carnival
Photo: The Silent Falcon™ drone system. Photo via the company's website. The company says the "patent pending Silent Falcon is a solar electric, carbon fiber, modular small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) designed for numerous commercial, public safety, military and security applications."
Police Commissioner Gary Griffith said the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service will be testing ‘three or four’ new drone systems during the Carnival period.
Griffith made the announcement during a media briefing on Wednesday at the TTPS headquarters in Port of Spain.
Griffith said ‘three or four’ of the Silent Falcon™ drone systems will be used over a four or five-day period from Carnival Saturday until Carnival Tuesday, and added that if successful, the system may have applications with enhancing the country's border control as well.
"One of the things that you will see differently is the concept of drones. The concept of the drone we will be utilizing here is going to be something that’s a first in Trinidad and Tobago.”
“We are looking to have the use of these drones implemented for Carnival, but more this will be able to assist us in dealing with even securing our borders as well,” he said.
Griffith said this pilot project is just a temporary measure which would give police more visibility and control over the Carnival period.
When asked regarding the cost of the products, Griffith said he did not have the information at that time but would supply the information later on.
However, LoopTT called the company's headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico and was told by a representative that although the cost for these systems ranges based on various factors, such as the number of units and the payload, the base price for a unit would begin at around US$400,000 (TT$2.7 million).
Bodycams, mobile app to assist police for Carnival
Griffith said over the Carnival period officers will be equipped with body cameras and non-lethal weapons to assist with law enforcement.
“In the change of the uniform, the concept of the use of force policy…the use of body cameras have now become effective and would be implemented.”
Griffith said this would assist in situations of claims of police brutality.
“Many times we continue to hear persons make wrongful accusations of the police officers, so now we would have cameras to ensure that we ourselves can be protected when wrongful accusations are made at us,” he said.
Griffith said the TTPS has 85 emergency response patrols which would all be utilised from Carnival Monday at 6:00 am to Tuesday night.
Griffith said with regard to communication, the TTPS is working with D’Junction mobile app to assist in providing locational data during the Carnival period.
“We have now set up an app and the app is going to assists us greatly in making sure that information can be fed for persons to be able to pinpoint where their Carnival band is, where is the nearest police station (etc.),” he said.
Additionally, Griffith said the TTPS has set out five zones for J’ouvert which would assist in facilitating smoother traffic and patrols.
The app is available both for Android and iOS.
Persons are advised to have all emergency response numbers handy including the following:
TTPS: 555, 999, 911
Fire Service: 990
ODPM: 511, 640-1285
Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard: 634-4235
Children’s Authority: 996 or 800-2014