Opposition Leader drafts Cabinet Note on compensation for families of slain law enforcers

Date: 
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - 10:00

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar has drafted a Cabinet Note to give effect to a promise of compensation to the families of law enforcers who are killed in the line of duty.

Persad-Bissessar accompanied the note with a letter reminding the Government that it had vowed to keep this promise, given by the former regime.

The following is Persad-Bissessar's letter and Cabinet Note.

"Honourable Prime Minister,

The government which I led in the budget presentation of 2014 made a commitment to the payment of one million dollars to the estate of each of the members of the protective services, namely, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, the Defence Force, the Fire Service and the Prison Service, killed in the line of duty. This promise was made by my government in recognition of the risk that those who belong to the protective services undertake each day to protect us all. These fallen officers are persons who literally gave their life to our country and their families, in most cases, are left without the main bread winner.

As Prime Minister, you have stated your government's commitment to honour this promise. On or about the 14th April 2016 the Honourable Minister of National Security, Retired Major General, Mr. Edmund Dillon re-stated the commitment of the government to honour the one million dollar compensation package proposed by the previous administration to families of all members of the protective service slain in the line of duty.

As part of my commitment as Opposition Leader to assist the government in the fight against crime, I hereby attach a draft Cabinet Note to give effect to the promise that was made to the families of these fallen officers. This note only needs to be considered and passed by Cabinet to give effect to this policy decision made by my administration and repeated by your government and your good self.
Giving effect to this promise would motivate members of the protective services who risk their lives each day for our country. It would give them and their families a sense of security and it would ease the hardship of the families of those officers who have lost their loved ones.

I trust that you would see the wisdom of immediately taking all steps necessary to implement this decision.

NOTE FOR CABINET

PAYMENT OF ONE MILLION DOLLARS TO THE ESTATE OF MEMBERS OF THE PROTECTIVE SERVICES KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY

1. The matter for the consideration of Cabinet is payment of one million dollars to the estate of each of the members of the protective services, namely, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, the Defence Force, the Fire Service and the Prison Service, killed in the line of duty.

2. Recognising that the high-risk responsibility of our protective services cannot be discharged without the incidence of some casualties, Cabinet in or about September 2014, agreed to the payment of one million dollars to the estate of any deceased officer killed in the line of duty for the benefit and for the assistance to of their families. This commitment of the GORTT was announced in the Budget Statement 2015 by the then Honourable Minister of Finance, Mr. Larry Howai, on the 8th September 2014.

3. The Honourable Prime has on several occasions in Parliament repeated government’s commitment to make payments to the estate of deceased officers killed in the line of duty.

4. On the 14th April 2016 the Honourable Minister of National Security stated the commitment of the government to honour the 1 million dollar compensation package proposed by the previous administration to families of all members of the protective service slain in the line of duty.

5. Accordingly, the Honourable Prime Minister recommends and Cabinet is asked to agree:

(i) to an ex-gratia payment of one million dollars to the estate of each of the members of the protective services, namely, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, the Defence Force, the Fire Service and the Prison Service, killed in the line of duty during the period September 2014 to September 2016 inclusive;

(ii) to a payment of one million dollars to the estate of any member of the protective services, namely, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, the Defence Force, the Fire Services and the Prison Service, killed in the line of duty after September 2016;

(iii) that the Honourable Attorney General cause to be prepared legislation to give effect to (ii) above for the consideration of Cabinet and thereafter for the laying in Parliament at the earliest;

(iv) that funds to meet the payments in (i) above be identified by the Ministry of Finance in consultation with the Ministry of National Security;

(v) that funds to meet the payments in (ii) above be provided for in the 2017 Draft Estimates of Expenditure."

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