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Sep 24, 2020

ComPol Williams Supports the Need for a COVID-19 Patient List

At the start of the pandemic, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams told the media that he would attempt to get the names of persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 as away to prevent the spread of the virus.  Today, we asked him for his view on the controversial S.I. 134. Williams says he supports the S.I. is now under review, ComPol Williams says that law enforcement officers should have the right to know who they are coming in contact with as frontline workers.  He also says that in terms of enforcing the quarantine and self-isolation of infected persons, the police department should be provided with a comprehensive COVID list.


On the Phone: Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“I have heard many academic arguments for and against that aspect of the regulation and may I say that while I agree to some extent with both schools of thought that from a law enforcement perspective, every day we are on the street we encounter people and I’ve always said, police officers in particular are more at risk than the health personnel because when health personnel would come into contact with persons it is because they already have a high suspicion that those persons are infected.  They already know that they are infected, as opposed to the police.  When we encounter people on a daily basis, we don’t know what their status is and so we are at greater risk than health personnel and we believe that in order for us to reduce the risk of police officers contracting the virus and subsequently go home and spread it to their families and then their families spread it to other persons and they we will have a widespread infection.  So I think that it would help for at least the police to be able to know who these persons are, and even so, we are obliged by law to enforce the aspect of the regulation that says that persons who breach quarantine or isolation requirements, they commit an offense.  How are we going to enforce that aspect of the regulation if we don’t know who is infected and who should be in quarantine and who should be in isolation.  So it is imperative that we should know, to some extent, who these persons are so that one: we can protect ourselves and protect the wider citizenry.  Two: that we can enforce the aspect of the regulation that says that those persons who are in quarantine or isolation, if they breach either of those, they are to be prosecuted.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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