by Linda Straker
- Security officer released pending further investigations
- Internal investigation to review circumstances has been initiated
- Police not exempt from wearing face masks or face covering when in public
Edvin Martin Commissioner of Police has confirmed that a security officer who was arrested for challenging a police officer for not wearing his face mask inside a business establishment, was released without charge. The police officer is now under investigation.
“I can confirm that this incident did occur. However, on the arrival at the police station, the senior police officer in charge of that police station, having analysed the circumstances of the specific case, took a statement from the security officer and released him pending further investigations,” Martin said in a news conference on Friday.
The Commissioner disclosed that an internal investigation to review the circumstances in the matter has been initiated. The conclusion of that investigation will determine the next step for the security guard and the police officer. “However, I want to reiterate and to also take the opportunity to re-enforce the statement I made recently at the police recruitment graduation and this statement is, being a police officer does not give us the right neither the privilege to break the said laws that we are tasked with enforcing. The principle of our own conformity to the laws and regulation of our state is pivotal to us affirming our legitimacy as a police force,” he said.
Grenada is presently under a State of Emergency (SoE) and section 4 of the Emergency Powers (Covid-19) Regulations, 2021 state “No person shall, without reasonable excuse, be in a public space without wearing a face mask, face shield or face covering in a manner which covers his or her mouth, nose and chin.”
Subsection 4 of the said regulation further mandates “The owner or operator of any business, establishment or office which provides goods or services to the public shall ensure that a member of the public is not permitted entry to, or otherwise remains within, any enclosed space within the premises of the business, establishment or office unless, the member of the public is wearing a face mask, face shield or face covering, in a manner which covers his or her mouth, nose and chin.”
Violating the regulation can result in an individual receiving a ticket of EC$350 for the first offence, EC$750 for the second offence and EC$1,000 for further offences. The members of the police force who are described as frontline essential workers are responsible for enforcing the regulations and they are not exempt from wearing face masks or face covering when in public.