|Police take to the beaches on ATVs|
|Thursday, 12 April 2012 13:30|
The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force recently revealed its latest device to fight crime, respond to medical emergencies and help keep the public safe on Grace Bay beach.
The All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) — one of two to be donated by the Zero Tolerance Committee — will regularly patrol the sands in an aim to improve police response times.
“We will be using the ATV to provide safety and security for everybody who uses the beach,” said Inspector Nigel Couch.
“We will be using it as a tool to speak to tourists, the beach vendors and hotel workers. We will also try and promote the TCI Police and the TCI as a safe destination to work and to play.”
The unveiling of the ATV comes amid a recent spate of medical emergencies at Grace Bay, including the death of New York trader Mark Lazard two weeks ago. Police are investigating how the man was struck by a boat while snorkeling.
“All officers are first aid trained,” Couch said. “We are working closely with the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) trying to identify access points that we can use to get them onto the beach quickly.”
The ATV will be equipped with a first-aid kit, and other rescue devices, including megaphones, whistles and binoculars.
Officer Melonda Robinson believes the ATV is a great addition to the department.
“It will help us to access the beach better than when we are on foot patrol,” Robinson said. “We will also have EMT with us, in the event that one of the tourists does go out and get into some problems, we can assist them as quickly as possible.”
Each ATV has an expected shelf life of just two to three years. Couch said the force was committed to extending this through regular cleaning and maintenance.
“The officers know it’s their baby, and we will all be responsible, including myself, to taking care of them,” he said.
The volunteer safety group Zero Tolerance was formed in August 2010 and has been instrumental in improving of resident and tourist safety by supporting police, Crime Stoppers and EMS, and helping with installation of street lights and closed circuit television, and other efforts. Members include the police, resorts, businesses and the Tourist Board.
Photo: Police Constable Melonda Robinson says the new ATVs will help improve police and emergency personnel response times on the beach.
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