McDonald Jacob

HEIGHTENED POLICE PRESENCE: McDonald Jacob

Attacks on social media are affecting the morale of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS).

Speaking on i95.5fm yesterday, Deputy Commissioner of Police McDonald Jacob said that over the last few months the TTPS and its members have seen several disparaging statements and allegations made against them which have had psychological effects on officers of all ranks.

“There are certain persons who are attempting to give the impression that there is disunity existing within the TTPS. And these persons exist not just within the TTPS, cause there are some persons who are involved who are not a part of the TTPS. There is a combination of persons who are trying to demonstrate that we are not operating, and we are not professionals, and we don’t know what we are about, by slandering the organisation and its members on social media,” Jacob said.

He added: “The persons being targeted, some of them, they are developing a sense of disgust and dislike, and we don’t want them to cross the line into hate for what is happening, as it is affecting them psychologically and mentally. On several occasions, we have to refer officers to our social workers, psychologists with the TTPS as it is affecting them. I myself have seen a senior officer next to me with long tears in their eyes, crying, because of allegations made against them on social media that were not true. But their names, their pictures are being plastered all over, and their reputations are being affected.”

Some of these officers, Jacob said, had to take vacations and have left the country to avoid further trauma.

He said that he had not been spared and had been attacked this year for doing his duty in 1984 when he took the witness stand against an officer who beat a civilian in his presence.

“They threw that up online in a negative way, like if I did something wrong. As far as I am concerned people don’t care about me and the officers, because what they are throwing out there is damaging people’s reputations and they have no care for anyone. I have 41 years of service come this January, and I can tell you honestly that the last three to four years have been the worst I’ve passed through. At this stage, I’m supposed to be enjoying my job, but the kind of allegations being made, and the time spent to deal with the false allegations on social media, not just on me but against the institution, is draining,” Jacob said.

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