No certainty of $1 million compensation for family of PC Benjamin

Wednesday, April 6, 2016 - 20:00

The family of slain police officer, PC Anson Benjamin will have to wait for a review by the Ministry of National Security, before they can know whether they will be compensated by the state.

PC Benjamin died this morning after being shot in his head while responding to a robbery at the Chao Young Supermarket on the Naparima Mayaro Road, St Clements on Monday night.

In 2013, then Minister of Finance, Larry Howai during the presentation of the 2013 / 2014 fiscal package in Parliament, announced that the families of those officers, including officers from the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force and other arms of the security forces killed in the line of duty, will be paid a $1 million compensation package.

Minister of Communications and Public Administration, Maxie Cuffie was asked at today's post-Cabinet media conference, about compensation to the officer's family.

"If you're referring to the $1 million," he said, "no mechanism has been put in place to effect that."

The Minister said that among the things to be cleared up, was the definition of how an officer dies in the line of duty, noting that while one officer might die from a heart attack in a police station, another might be killed pursuing a criminal.

He offered condolences to the family and said discussions will continue between the Police Association and Ministry of National Security on the matter.

Minister in the Officer of the Prime Minister Stuart Young also told the media that the mechanisms are not in place.

"What we came and we found was a promise to do certain things but nothing to implement it, so the Minister of National Security has been asked to look at it and come back with recommendations," he said.

Police reports indicate that PC Benjamin opened a back door at the grocery as he and a female officer responded to the call of a break-in, when he was shot in his head.