Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 11th 2015 Contents A6
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Cabinet yesterday approved a new order changing
the process for the appointment of a Commissioner
of Police (CoP) which would be restricted to nation-
als.However, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar
said the matter could not be complete without par-
liamentary approval. Speaking at the post-Cabinet
press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister,
St Clair, Maxie Cuffie, Minister of Communications,
said Cabinet agreed to the order yesterday and it
would be communicated to the Police Service Com-
mission, the organisation responsible for the appoint-
ment of a Police Commissioner and the Department
of Personnel Administration.
Under the existing arrangement a foreign firm is
used to select a shortlist of applicants for recom-
mendation to the Police Service Commission. The
PSC in turn will then submit the applicants to the
Parliament for either approval or rejection.
Cuffie said: "The process now involves the appoint-
ment of a national of T&T." He said the order "sim-
plifies the process with the appointment of an appro-
priate local firm to handle the arrangement but keeping
in mind the existing legislation to achieve that end."
Cuffie said the change was in keeping with an elec-
tion promise by the People s National Movement
(PNM) during the September 7 campaign.
"We feel that whoever holds the Office of Com-
missioner of Police should be a national of T&T," he
added. Cuffie said more details on the arrangement
would be provided by Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi.
Al-Rawi could not be contacted by the T&T
Guardian yesterday for clarification.
Cuffie said as soon as the process was confirmed
by Cabinet it would be in effect. Cabinet normally
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confirms a decision one week after it is approved.
Persad-Bissessar, in response, said the appointment
of a CoP could not be determined by a Cabinet Order.
"So just to announce an executive decision from
the Cabinet is not sufficient. They need to bring it
to the Parliament and we will see what happens there,"
she added. She insisted that "it has to be a parlia-
mentary decision as well, so we will await the decision
by the Government and we will deal with it. It is not
just for the Cabinet to say we are going to do this
or that, these are matters to change the law."
Cabinet okays new
law for naming CoP
Read Watch Cash jackpot now $7,500
An officer attached to the Southern Division gets on all fours in search of
contraband at King's Wharf, San Fernando, during an anti-crime exercise in
which ten people, including one woman, were arrested yesterday.
PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
In 2007, a new system was introduced which required
a foreign firm to select applications for the post and for
Parliament to approve or reject the list of nominees.
Under that system Canadians Dwayne Gibbs and Jack
Ewatski were appointed Commissioner and Deputy
Commissioner respectively. They resigned in 2012 and
since August of that year Stephen Williams, who was
deputy commissioner, has been given consecutive six-
month acting appointments.
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