Police officers who flout regulations regarding the wearing of face masks, could be penalised.
Police Commissioner Atlee Rodney hinted at this on Friday during a press conference when he said: “I hope it doesn’t reach the point where we will have to take action against our own officers, but that’s just the reality of it.”
There have been increasing reports from members of the public that some officers are not wearing masks while on duty – and those reports have led some to question if officers are exempt from the regulations.
In fact, images of uniformed officers without masks have been circulated on social media. One social media post claimed that one of the officers blatantly refused to put on a mask.
Rodney used the opportunity to urge officers to set an example.
“We will continue to adhere to the protocols that has been established by the Ministry of Health, and I will take this opportunity to, even in this forum, appeal to my officers to be an example,” he encouraged.
The top cop added that one positive test result could result in the shut down of the police force.
“We can see what this pandemic normally does, and if we have a situation where a police officer that worked in a very congested area tests positive it will affect our operation…we had an incident in the earlies where a member of the band was infected, and you could see the implications it had on members of the band,” he remarked.
The Commissioner therefore reiterated the force’s commitment to adhering to the protocols, given the continued threat posed by the virus both locally and worldwide.
“It is something that we are very much mindful of and we will continue to remind them because we know the seriousness of this pandemic, we can see the effect that it is having,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, in the same press conference, it was announced that members of the public who fail to wear masks, as well as those found participating in illegal social gatherings, will now be ticketed $500 by the police.
An amendment was made to the Official Gazette on August 27, 2020.