(left) Dr. Al Pierre; (top right) An inspector asking Dr. Pierre a question; (bottom right) a section of the Officers at Dr. Pierre's presentation.

Dr. Al Pierre from the St. Kitts and Nevis Medical and Dental Association recently gave a presentation to Officers from The Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force at the National Emergency Management Agency’s headquarters on the current Coronavirus (also called COVID-19) pandemic.

“Now is the time to really understand the difficulty of the job our Police have…,” said Dr. Pierre, who spoke about how officers could prepare and protect themselves while executing their duties and they, in turn, were given an opportunity to ask him questions on the topic.

Following his presentation, he urged the public to cooperate fully with police, saying in addition to other frontline workers, the role of the police was also critical.

“I think there are a few bastions of hope that’s gonna exist at that point in our society and those are our nurses and doctors, our health care workers who are in the forefront of this, and not just nurses and doctors, everybody…from the cleaners at the hospitals. But one very important role we have is the role of the law officers. I think it’s extremely important that we understand…just how much more challenging a job which is, by no stretch of the imagination an easy job, has now been made ten times, a hundred times more difficult,” Dr. Pierre said.

He added that police might be forced to ask questions of individuals that they might feel uncomfortable answering — “Have you travelled recently?” and “Do you have a cough or cold?” — questions that officers could now find themselves asking when responding to reports.

“Right now, today, it’s not just the bullets and the missiles that’s being fired that are injurious to our police, it’s the fact that even sometimes, unknown to you, you may actually infect them with the disease. So, we’re asking everyone to cooperate. If there’s a need for people to stay at home, to self-quarantine, be your brother’s keeper. Help the police help you,” he added.

He added it is important to understand based on risk assessments they may make, police may enter a house with wearing clothes which may seem strange and uncomfortable, including masks or gloves,andin order to get through uncertain and difficult times, “we all have to work together.”