TTPS interfaith service: Priest calls for renewal, reflection

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

STAND UP: Fr Peter Aduaka speaks at the TTPS inter-faith service on Sunday at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Port of Spain. Photo by Sureash Cholai

FR PETER ADUAKA called for police officers to look inward for renewed energy in the new year to continue the fight against crime.

This energy would indeed be needed, as in the first eight days of 2023, at least 12 murders have been committed including the shooting death of a six-year-old girl on Sunday, mere hours before the police inter-faith service was held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Port of Spain.

“We need to understand that as we begin this year we need a renewal that would give us the strength to walk into the second half of the game,” Aduaka said.

“But you cannot walk into that unless you are qualified. For you to be qualified you need to look into yourself. We need to look into ourselves and ask what is it that I am doing, that I am not getting it right.”

Several senior officers including Ag Commissioner of Police Erla Christopher nodded their heads in agreement.

SIDE BY SIDE: Acting Commissioner of Police Erla Christopher and National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds stand during the inter-faith service. Photo by Sureash Cholai

Also present were Chief of Defence Staff, Air Vice Marshall Darryl Daniel, and Minister of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds.

Noting that last year ended with more than 600 murders – a new record high for TT – Aduaka told the gathering that introspection and communion with God are needed. He said without divine intervention, all other crime-fighting methods would be useless.

“When God is not involved, those who are guarding the city are guarding in vain,” he said. “Whatever sophisticated weapon you have, you are just wasting time, because the Lord is not involved in your case.”

Aduaka encouraged officers to continue looking at themselves in a positive light, saying people who consider them threats would continue to paint them in a negative light.

“People look at police officers in different ways. Those who deal in drugs, those who are in gangs, they see you as a threat. The innocents, the vulnerable, they see you as their protector. Do not allow the negatives to influence you.

“We must build this nation and it only can be built by you because you are the security, you are the hope.”

Aduaka compared the police’s battle against crime to the World Cup Final between France and Argentina where France was down two goals to nil, and in the 81st minute, striker Kylian Mbappe scored the first of three goals to tie the final and take it to penalties.

“Something happened during the half time,” Aduaka said.

“There was a transformation, a renewal. There was some voice that said to Mbappe, you are the man. Within minutes in the second half there was a penalty and he scored his first goal and then his second. He didn’t score by mistake.

“It was the moment of Mbappe. It was at that point that the Lord used him to show the world that there is someone else coming.” Despite Mpabbe’s heroics, France ultimately lost to Argentina 4-2 on penalties.