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Chairman of the SVG Police Welfare ASsociation, Station Station Sergeant Brenton Smith. (iWN file photo)
Chairman of the SVG Police Welfare ASsociation, Station Station Sergeant Brenton Smith. (iWN file photo)
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Chairman of the Police Welfare Association, Station Sergeant Brenton Smith has urged his colleagues not to use force against people  “who have decided to stand up for their constitutional rights” to not be vaccinated against COVID-19.

As of today (Friday) police officers, and a large number of other government workers are expected to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination if they are to remain on the job.

“Today may be the eve of whether some of us, as police officers, continue in this job,” Smith said in a Facebook Live broadcast Thursday night.

“I wish to, first of all, commend those officers who have decided to stick it through against tyrannical behaviours…” he said.  

“Those who have decided to stand up and fight back to maintain their basic human rights of freedom, this is a fundamental right given to us by God and you should never allow any man to take that away from you.

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“To those who were not so strong and decided to take the vaccine because of the pressure, I understand you and while it is sad, I do understand. I love you no less,” he said.

Government workers who have not been exempted from the jab on medical or religious grounds have 10 consecutive days off the job before they are considered to have forfeited their posts.

“This fight is not going to go down easily. I am calling, tonight, on all of the police officers, whether you are vaccinated or not — because this is not a fight against the vaccinated or unvaccinated. 

“This is a fight, this is a constitutional matter of freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, freedom of consent. So I am simply saying this tonight. We can do this, we will do it. So when persons are bullying you to get vaccinated, yes, you are vaccinated, you maintain your job, you have save it. Fine. But tell them this after: you made me do things against my will. I am gonna stand now for justice and freedom. That is what is important. And it is important that you, too, are counted.” 

Smith urged his vaccinated colleagues “to stand with those of us who have made the decision to fight for our freedom and against tyranny. 

“Stand with us and be counted. Do not carry out anyone’s mandate to beat up or to apply force to those who have decided to stand up for their constitutional rights. Stand with us because today might be the vaccine. Tomorrow  might be something else,” he said. 

“I’ve had reports of officers being told continuously by senior officers to be vaccinated or to resign or retire. I’m saying to you, officers, do not allow anyone to force you to resign or retire. Many of us have loans, families to take care of. We don’t know where our next dollar will be coming from. But we have decided not to give up on our constitutional rights. 

“Tonight, I am asking all to say a deep prayer, and tomorrow morning as well, go to God in prayer. He will see us through. Certainly, He will see us through this. He said He will never leave us nor forsake us. We just have to call upon Him.”

Police Commissioner Colin John told iWitness News that as of Thursday, over 1,000 officers had taken a COVID-19 vaccine and over 50% of the constabulary was fully vaccinated

“We have about 82% who took at least one dose,” he said, adding that at the Port, 52 of 53 officers had taken the jab and the other had been given a temporary exemption

Smith noted that the police chief had said that about 1,000 police officers are vaccinated.

“I do not know if that is the case. But, let’s even assume that is the case, I would like to know how many police officers were forced against their will to be vaccinated …  I want you to tell the nation how many police officers have since resigned or retired as a result of the mandatory vaccination. 

“People would not know this has caused tremendous strain and pressure on me as the chairman of the Police Welfare Association. I had to answer to so many persons needing to comfort as to what is going to happen, what they are going to do. I had to proceed on sick leave because of pain in my chest. I was fatigued, mentally and otherwise,” Smith said.

He said that Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, who is also Minister of National Security, recently said that the police force can operate with 800 police officers.

“Well, I say this to you tonight, my friends. This week, we even can’t manage with 1,100-plus, much more to less,” Smith said. 

He said that the prime minister’s statement was “very irresponsible, to say the least. 

“In international standards, there is about one police officer for every 100 people in a country. So that should give you the scope of things,” Smith said, noting that there are about 110,000 people in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

“How in God’s Earth could we then run a police force with 800 police? Are you telling me that no one would be going on rest day leave? Are you telling me no  one would be going on vacation leave? No one would be going on sick leave? 

“I don’t understand that at all. That is a very irresponsible statement by the minister of national security, who should know better. But … this country and the people of this country understand statements when they are not in keeping with truth, fairness, and we do understand irresponsible statements.”

Smith said he has been a police officer for 27 years and is yet to see the force work effectively with 800 police officers.

“You can hardly get proper working conditions, a proper leave system, yet [800] police [officers] can do the job? These are some of the questions we have to ask ourselves. Are you taking national security seriously? Well, from my experience, I doubt.” 

Smith said he was happy to see a number of church leaders speaking out against mandatory vaccination.

“The church ought to be counted now. You have  gotten a lot of licks in the past, and perhaps rightly so. But this is an opportune time for you to bring back the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines together because you have a full responsibility, an important one, to assist the people of this country,” he said.

Smith said that the pandemic has affected the contributions that churches receive toward their work. He said that the church will experience even greater financial strain if people lose their jobs because they do not take a COVID-19 jab.

“And you know the Lord’s temple will need finances as well if you are to really preach and spread the gospel,” Smith said. 

3 replies on “Welfare group urges cop not to use force against unvaccinated gov’t workers”

  1. Imagine a geriatric man controlling coherent adults what they must have and do to their bodies ? The scariest thing about this jab is the LONG TERM EFFECTS that have not even started yet. Fear of the unknown.

  2. God bless us all.
    Many leaders are paid off and promised to be in power so they sell their souls against their own people. It’s destined history. All we can do is pray for guidance and support to see this through.

  3. Vincentians have ample time to get rid of the man an they did not, so I don’t have any sympathy for them now, the man fool them and make asses out of them with LUMBER GALVANIZE AND CEMENT so now let them feel the pain in their BACKSIDE they deserve it

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