Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 31st 2015 Contents A7
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Acting Police Commissioner
Stephen Williams received his
sixth extension to his post yester-
He got the notification from the
Police Service Commission inform-
ing him his term would end in the
next six months.
But the top cop, when contacted,
took it in stride.
He pledged to remain resolute in
the fight against crime, support his
officers to the best of his ability and
to protect his country.
Asked if he was disenchanted
and frustrated that the commission
was taking so long for him to be
confirmed in his post, Williams said
the issue was not one about feelings
but rather commitment to duty.
He said he embraced the oppor-
tunity to serve again.
"This is an opportunity that I
embrace because it means I would
be in a position to serve my country
again at the helm of the Police Serv-
ice and I will continue to improve
"The normal person would be
frustrated and if I was frustrated I
would be out of the service long
time," Williams added.
He said what also gave him the
impetus to carry on was the daily
dedication by his officers.
"My officers are out there risking
their lives and limb to protect this
nation and that gives me a great
sense of pride and fulfilment,"
GEISHA KOWLESSAR and
In the event that police officers
withhold their services from this
weekend s Panorama competition,
the Defence Force is ready to step
in.This was the response of civil mil-
itary affairs officer of the Defence
Force Major Al Alexander when
asked if soldiers had been asked to
assist with Carnival events, following
threats by the Police Social and Wel-
fare Association that officers would
stay away from Carnival events.
He could not say whether the
Regiment had been asked to assist
but said: "If asked by the Police
Commissioner we are ready to sup-
Secretary of the Police Service
Social and Welfare Association Insp
Michael Seales said yesterday only
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar could save the day.
Seales said police officers were
adamant they would withhold their
services for this weekend s Panorama
semi-finals and other major Carnival
events if their salary negotiations
were not brought up to speed.
"The Defence Force can always
step in but they cannot make arrests
for even minor infractions," Seales
"Even traffic management, they
are unable to do that. They can fill
the void with numbers but they can-
not carry out the functions of a police
Asked if any Government official
had contacted the association Seales
said that was yet to happen.
He said shortly after a press brief-
ing at the Besson Street Police Station
on Wednesday, there were several
missed calls from National Security
Minister Gary Griffith.
"We didn t take his call because
we believe the minister cannot help
"We also do not want to speak to
the acting Police Commissioner
Stephen Williams because he too
cannot help us. The only person who
can help us is the Prime Minister
and she has been known to save the
"We are reasonable men and our
membership are being reasonable in
their demands," Seales added.
When contacted the association s
president Insp Anand Ramesar said
if the Prime Minister failed to meet
then it would send a signal that she
cared neither about police officers
nor the public.
Ramesar also warned that people
who attended fetes and Panorama
void of police presence would be
doing so at their own risk.
"And promoters who have these
fetes, knowing there is insufficient
police officers are putting the lives
of the patrons at risk. The only safe
fete to go is Army fete," Ramesar
Acting Commissioner of Police
Stephen Williams yesterday said the
matter of salary negotiations was
out of his hands.
"It is a matter directly for the
Government and the Chief Personnel
Officer (CPO)," Williams said in an
He said he was supportive of the
association because all they were
doing was "looking after the well-
being of their officers.
"I agree that police officers must
receive better salaries and must be
paid according to international stan-
Williams referred to comments
made by former New York city police
commissioner Bill Bratton s state-
ments that for police to perform at
their best they needed to be paid
Williams said Government must
pay heed to that.
In a brief telephone
PanTrinbago president Keith
Diaz said his organisation had
sent a letter to Griffith and
had been assured there would
be a backup plan if police
officers withheld their
Diaz said he had also been
told by the National Carnival
Commission (NCC) that the
commission was currently
discussing the situation with
"Jump high or jump low
there will be a Panorama
competitions this weekend,"
Acting CoP gets
After Panorama threats by cops...
Soldiers set to step in
Contacted yesterday secretary of
the Police Service Social and Welfare
Association Insp Micheal Seales said
Williams' sixth extension was not
only puzzling but also very
"The entire thing is so bewildering
as to why there isn't a push to at
least confirm Mr Williams as the
"It is passing strange that you
have the legitimate frame, as
cumbersome as it, but why we have
not done anything in the 30-plus
months? They have also failed to
appoint three deputy police
commissioners," Seales said.
He added he was confident that
Williams' sixth extension would
affect the morale of the organisation.
"We are quite satisfied that the
Police Service is not operating as its
optimum because even at times Mr
Williams has to continuously
reassure himself that he is a
professional police officer and that
the failure to confirm him in office
does not affect him.
"The association is wise this is not
the case as some where along the
line emotions will step in as it will
affect any bride in waiting," Seales
Maria Therese Gomes, a
sociologist and behavioural scientist,
was appointed on Thursday as the
In a brief interview after being
sworn in Gomes said she had no
crystal ball but assured she would be
working with commission members
to address the problems.
Gomes replaced Professor
Ramesh Deosaran who resigned last
year in apparent frustration over the
failure of Government to amend
legislation to make the appointment
of a police commissioner and other
senior police officers less
Calypso King Slinger Francisco, the Mighty Sparrow, performs his classics at
the Divas International Calypso Tent at the Little Carib Theatre in Woodbrook
on Thursday night. PHOTO: CLYDE LEWIS
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