Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 2nd 2014 Contents A5
Thursday, October 2, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Acting Police Commissioner
Stephen Williams yesterday
blasted a decision by Cabinet to
buy out the leave of Assistant
Police Commissioner Wayne
Dick, saying the decision not
only undermines the Police Serv-
ice but has serious repercussions
for the organisation in terms of
Cabinet decided to buy out
Dick's leave last Thursday.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar was in New York when
the decision was taken and Labour
Minister Errol McLeod was then
acting as Prime Minister at the
However, Cabinet made the
decision despite Williams refusing
to support the idea.
In a telephone interview with
the T&T Guardian yesterday,
National Security Minister Gary
Griffith, who is expected to return
from China today, said before the
decision was taken he had a con-
versation with Williams, informing
him of the decision to buy out
"I went to the acting police
commissioner to get his view on
the matter and he stated he was
not in agreement with such a sit-
uation... he rejected the recom-
mendation made by Cabinet.
"He said such a situation would
affect the morale and promotion
process in the Police Service and
he did not want this to occur in
the organisation," Griffith said.
Griffith said he relayed
Williams's sentiments to the Cab-
inet but the decision was taken
On how he viewed this deci-
sion, especially as National Secu-
rity Minister, Griffith said his per-
sonal view was irrelevant.
"Cabinet took a decision and
I adhere to the decision. I have a
duty to abide by Cabinet. Mr Dick
was seen as very instrumental as
he had worked on very prominent
investigations, including being
part of the Dana Seetahal murder
probe," Griffith added.
Asked who recommended
Dick's leave be bought out, he said
he could not divulge that infor-
He said upon his return to T&T
today, he intended to meet with
the Police Service Social and Wel-
fare Association, who have also
expressed concern about the mat-
ter.It was also rumoured that Dick
got the nod because he was a rel-
ative of a senior government min-
ister. Asked about that, Griffith
said he had no such information.
Williams, who yesterday made
it clear he had nothing against
Dick, said there were other suitably
qualified police who have been
waiting to be promoted.
"Clearly, this decision taken by
Cabinet undermines the admin-
istration of the Police Service," he
He said he had not been offi-
cially told by Government of the
final decision on Dick but had
heard about it from the media.
"My position is not about
Dick... it is not about any specific
individual. I would not recom-
mended the leave of any of the
executive team be bought out.
There are many eligible persons
who can fill that position,"
"This is a matter of principle.
The association raised the issue
of promotion many times and
other people's entitlement to be
promoted," he added.
He said it was a fact that when
a member of the executive went
on pre-retirement leave that posi-
tion could be filled.
"It now deprives a person of
that opportunity... again it is about
a principle and the expectation to
be promoted," Williams added.
But the acting top cop said he
had no choice but to abide by the
"There is no way I can do any-
thing about it. I cannot overturn
a Cabinet decision," he said.
A tragic accident along the Uriah Butler Highway,
Chaguanas, yesterday left a woman dead, two critical
and five others seriously injured.
The accident occurred at about 1.45 pm along the
south-bound lane of the highway, near the ANSA
The dead woman was identified as Natasha
Williams, 31. The critically wounded were taxi driver
David Rampersad, of San Francique, Penal, and Cintra
Tobias, of Cunupia.
The other injured were Tobias' husband, Lawrence,
Imran Mohammed, Nadia Hosein, Keniesha Browne
and Kiel Gonzales. There were two motorists who
escaped death and injuries, Shawn Trapp, 35, of Bel-
mont, and Amar Seerattan, 40, of Cunupia.
Police assigned to the National Operations Centre
(NOC), who were returning from the funeral of police
inspector Sahadeo Singh, rendered assistance to the
accident victims. One female NOC member stayed
at Tobias' side continuously talking to her in an attempt
to keep her from slipping into unconsciousness.
Speaking to the T&T Guardian at the scene, Seer-
attan said he was driving his green band maxi taxi
along the south-bound lane when he noticed a Nissan
Tida, travelling in the opposite lane, cross the median.
"I tried to swerve and the car only managed to hit
the back of the maxi. When I watch in the rearview
mirror all I see was the Tida airborne and landing on
the yellow car. It then fell over and hit the taxi."
Williams, who was seated behind Rampersad in
the taxi, suffered severe head trauma and died on the
The Tida was driven by Lawrence and his wife was
seated in the front passenger seat. The taxi, a Black
Nissan Sunny HBU 7684, was driven by Rampersad.
Its front seat passenger was Hosein and back pas-
sengers were Browne, Gonzales and Williams. The
yellow Lancer was driven by Mohammed.
Trapp said he was driving his silver Blue Bird along
the north-bound lane when he was broad sided by
"The Tida flipped when it hit the median and broad
sided me and then hit the median again. The Tida
pitched up in the air and fall on the yellow car," he
There were many calls to the ambulance service
but the first ambulance arrived on the scene about
53 minutes after the accident occurred. There were
claims that there were no ambulances in Chaguanas
to respond immediately.
Also stopping to assist was Supt George Allsop of
the Western Division. He expressed his disgust at
people speeding along the highway and pleaded with
motorists to obey traffic laws and be mindful of other
A party of police from Central Division, including
Insp Kisoonlal and PCs Jeffrey, Mc Kenzie and Roopc-
hand, were also on the scene assisting with early
The accident caused a massive traffic pile-up along
both lanes of the highway and along the east-bound
lane of the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway. The Priority
Bus Route was opened late yesterday to allow motorists
usage in a bid to bring relief.
One dead, two critical
after Chaguanas crash
Williams upset Cabinet bypassed him on Dick...
Other cops can fill void
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