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No way to choose a CoP

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The continuing spectacle of parading senior officers of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service through a parliamentary examination has demonstrated why the process is flawed.

None of the 41 members of the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago should be involved in selecting a Commissioner of Police.

This public spectacle that has reduced the process to politicking is bound to do more damage to one of our most important institutions.

We can only imagine the impact on the leadership of the Police Service, from Acting Commissioner Stephen Williams, down to the rank and file.

How can Williams be expected to have the respect of his officers when they learn that the Parliament has again failed to endorse him?

And how can Williams have endured the public humiliation so many times with all these interim appointments? Surely, if you are not good enough to take up the top job, how can you act in the position so many times?

And the near shame must also be felt by all the families and friends of the people who we expect to serve and protect.

The evident failure of the Police Service Commission also raises serious questions about their stewardship.

There must be reform of the process of selecting the high command of the Police Service and it must begin with a rebuilding of the trust in the integrity of good men and women who are asked to search. And we must remove the politicians of all stripes from the selection process.

Salute to our Carib Queen

The news that the Carib Queen had died raced across the country and drew a deep, painful response from those who knew Jennifer Cassar.

This royal lady with the broad smile had won hearts well beyond the environs of Arima and the close family of First Peoples.

It was the Carib Queen who succeeded in convincing the Government to grant the community a one-off holiday last October.

That was one of her dreams come true, but she would not survive to see an Amerindian village set up at Blanchisseuse on 100 acres provided by the Government.

It is this vision that should now be embraced in earnest to ensure that our First Peoples dream becomes a reality. Today, we call on the nation to salute our Carib Queen Jennifer Cassar and urge everyone to embrace her community with love and appreciation for their role in retaining the vestiges of our history.

Prisons 180th birthday

Amidst all the bad news comes celebration by our Prison Services of their 180th anniversary.

The prison leadership are working to change the atmosphere of the prison system with a focus on rehabilitation aimed at reducing the number of people who return after release.

The move to provide Skype for some inmates to do homework with their children is an excellent initiative that can bridge the communication gap.

These are initiatives that should be embraced honestly.


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