COVID-19 Enforcement Unit still being “set up”

COVID-19 Enforcement Unit still being “set up”
Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Royal Bahamas Police Force’s COVID-19 Enforcement Unit (CEU) is still in the process of being set up, said Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle yesterday.

The prime minister announced the unit has been established to help curb breaches of quarantine protocols and to carry out patrols of public spaces to ensure health guidelines are being followed.

“They are still in the process of setting up the software on the computers, but the persons are in there now who have already been trained,” Rolle said.

To date, 25 police reserve officers have been trained and an additional 25 are expected to be trained.

However, concerns have arisen over whether those officers have the necessary protections to keep them safe while on duty monitoring people in quarantine.

Officers attache to the unit told Eyewitness News it is also unclear whether they have sufficient coverage for themselves and their families if they become infected.

The government has acquired 21 vehicles that will be properly outfitted with communications systems and deployed with police officers and individual ambassadors to patrol public spaces.

Rolle said yesterday that police have possession of the vehicles and are working on getting the licenses.

“So you should see them on the road pretty soon and being able to visit persons and be doing their patrol,” he said.

“The main bulk of their thing will not come into effect until after the lockdown because right, everybody is essentially on (lockdown) unless you are an essential worker.”

In addition to enforcing health guidelines via the CEU, the RBPF has also assumed full responsibility for the Hubbcat Monitoring Platform – a 24-hour monitoring service for individuals in home quarantine or self-isolation.

Hubbcat provides geo-fencing capabilities, which pre-programs virtual boundaries around the property of those in quarantine and isolation.

If there is a breach, the Ministry of Health’s Surveillance Unit and RBPF will visit the property.

Clients requiring monitoring will have an App downloaded onto their phones and activated by an ambassador.