Forensic Science Centre back to normal

Pend­ing au­top­sies that caused the back­log and deep­er frus­tra­tion among fam­i­ly mem­bers at the Foren­sic Sci­ence Cen­tre has end­ed.


Guardian Me­dia was told that the foren­sic pathol­o­gist to­geth­er with ad­di­tion­al at­ten­dants as­signed yes­ter­day worked up un­til af­ter 6 pm to en­sure that the bod­ies were re­leased to the re­spec­tive fam­i­lies.

Act­ing Min­is­ter of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Fitzger­ald Hinds al­so con­firmed to the Guardian Me­dia that “the sit­u­a­tion is bet­ter than nor­mal be­cause there are more mor­tu­ary at­ten­dants out work­ing in sup­port of the pathol­o­gist who are work­ing on our be­half ex­am­in­ing ca­dav­ers, try­ing to de­ter­mine the cause of death, try­ing to do this as quick­ly as pos­si­ble so that fam­i­lies can bury their loved ones.”

He added that at the very im­por­tant unit the Foren­sic Sci­ence Cen­ter de­part­ment of pathol­o­gy there was a prob­lem. He said that three of the mor­tu­ary at­ten­dants, the per­sons who are paid by U.S. tax­pay­ers and who are em­ployed there to sup­port the work of the pathol­o­gist, did not show up for work for this week.

“It is my un­der­stand­ing that there was some ad­min­is­tra­tive prob­lem on the last pay round, the last month end, and as a re­sult they did not re­ceive their salaries and the way they chose to say thanks to moth­er Trinidad and To­ba­go, thanks to the Foren­sic Sci­ence Cen­ter for giv­ing them the job that no doubt they would have ap­plied for and even prayed for was to stay away from work yes­ter­day so that the pathol­o­gists would not have been able to car­ry out their work, “ Hinds said.

“That re­sult­ed in a bit of a prob­lem so the lead­er­ship at the Foren­sic Sci­ence Cen­ter called out more per­sons and more per­sons came out to­day and I’m hap­py to let you know that the work of the cen­ter is go­ing on a pace to­day and there is no fur­ther prob­lem, “ he added.

Hon­da dis­closed that the Min­istry made arrange­ments and their mon­ey have since been paid.

Asked whether or not any ac­tion would be tak­en, Hinds said “that is not a mat­ter for me as a Min­is­ter of gov­ern­ment, that is a mat­ter for the per­ma­nent sec­re­tary in the Min­istry of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty and the lead­er­ship at the foren­sic sci­ence cen­ter, and I don’t think any­thing will be pos­si­ble from what I heard they re­port­ed that per­sons are en­ti­tled to sick leave and it was just co­in­ci­den­tal that all three of them took sick leave on the same day.”

Guardian Me­dia was told that af­ter long hours of wait­ing from 8 am to 5 pm, some ex­pressed deep­er frus­tra­tion and sheer dis­ap­point­ment.

Speak­ing with the Guardian Me­dia one rel­a­tive who wished not to be iden­ti­fied said no re­spect ex­ists at the FSC, “We are like an­i­mals here wait­ing for days and hours...its frus­tra­tion. Our fam­i­ly get mur­dered now we can’t even get the body to bury them...what re­al­ly go­ing on in this place. No­body re­spect our time and the fact that we have our lives to live af­ter this.”

Even a homi­cide de­tec­tive, who could not be named, com­plained about the in­ef­fi­cien­cies. “This sort of de­lay...go slow or not go at all trick­les down to us be­cause it is keep­ing us back in our in­ves­ti­ga­tions which al­so means ar­rest­ing sus­pects and bring­ing clo­sure to fam­i­lies. This is non­sense and I hope some kind of res­o­lu­tion hap­pens soon­er than soon,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to fam­i­ly mem­bersm since Mon­day they were be­ing turned away and the ex­cuse giv­en us that work­ers are on strike ac­tion over non pay­ment of salaries and oth­er salary is­sues.

Guardian Me­di­am how­ev­erm un­der­stands that three weeks ago op­er­a­tions were said to be on a go-slow. This week op­er­a­tions ac­tu­al­ly came to a halt.

This is the sec­ond time for the year where a backlog oc­curred at the FSC.

In March, there was al­so a backlog of cas­es as there was no foren­sic pathol­o­gist avail­able to re­port for du­ty.

No au­top­sies were be­ing con­duct­ed due to al­leged con­trac­tu­al is­sues.

Min­is­ter of Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Stu­art Young said then that he was on­ly ap­prised of the sit­u­a­tion when it was high­light­ed in the me­dia and moved to im­me­di­ate­ly sign a doc­u­ment for a pathol­o­gist to be hired im­me­di­ate­ly.

Reporter: Rhondor Dowlat-Rostant

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