Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 18th 2015 Contents RHONDOR DOWLAT
A new enhanced agency based on an
intelligence-led approach and methodology
is due to come on stream.
So said Minister of National Security,
Edmund Dillon yesterday at a joint media
conference at the Ministry of National Secu-
rity, Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain.
He said the agency would incorporate some
of the duties and responsibilities of some of
the intelligence agencies, including the
National Operations Centre (NOC), Security
Intelligence Agency (SIA) and the Strategic
Services Agency (SSA).
"It will be complementing the activities
and the duties of the Police Service and the
"Based on the intelligence approach and
methodology our operations are intelligence-
driven which will enhance areas such as
crime detection and the fight against terrorism
and trans-national, organised crimes," Dillon
He said there would be a review of certain
kinds of adjustments, including institutional
Dillon said within the last three months
there had been a review of the architecture
to determine what were the problems that
confronted the nation...the issues and how
those problems, issues and challenges could
"In terms of analysing security problems,
what are the policies and strategies to treat
with those issues.
"We did examinations and we have
realised that we would have to make
amendments and adjustments as we go
forward," he said.
Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen
Williams, who also spoke, admitted that
although the police have recorded ten per
cent decrease in serious crimes, it still faced
the challenge with murders.
Yesterday marked 400 murders compared
to 398 recorded last year.
He said 83 per cent of those murders were
committed with guns, but said the police
were able to remove more than 655 illegal
guns from off the streets which, he said, was
the highest number in T&T s history.
Chief of Defence Staff, Rodney Smart,
assured continued support to the Police Serv-
ice in the fight against crime.
"Recently, we had the passing out of 156
new recruits and they have since been
absorbed into the TTDF and in particular,
in the army service, and they are pressed
right now in finishing training and will be
brought on to assist during this yuletide peri-
od into Carnival," Smart added.
Friday, December 18, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Former independent senator
Dr James Armstrong is the new
president of the Joint Consul-
tative Council (JCC).
He was elected in absentia at
a late evening vote on Wednes-
day night. It was only yesterday
morning that Armstrong was
informed of his new position.
"Yes, I was told today (yes-
terday) that I am the new pres-
ident of the JCC," he told the
T&T Guardian early yesterday
Armstrong is also an urban
planner and was the head of the
T&T Society of Planners under
the ambit of the JCC for the past
While he was pleased to offer
himself for the post, he admits
he takes over the JCC at a time
when it is dealing with a negative
"I am concerned and it is an
unfortunate situation that exists
right now and I know that it is
within that context that they
asked me to serve," Armstrong
He is referring to the quiet
resignation of former JCC head
Afra Raymond one month ago
after a fallout with Housing
(HDC) head Noel Garcia.
Raymond, in a letter published
by a daily paper, questioned
whether Garcia was eligible to
hold the post of chairman of a
State board after allegedly failing
to appear before the commission
of enquiry into the Las Alturas
Garcia had claimed that Ray-
mond was using the JCC to
question Garcia s competence.
"I have no opinion on the
Afra/Garcia matter," Armstrong
The JCC was seeking a legal
opinion in the matter to under-
stand whether Garcia was in fact
defamed by Raymond s letter to
The T&T Guardian now
understands that legal opinion
has found enough grounds for
Garcia to take action "if he so
But with Raymond no longer
at the JCC, the T&T Guardian
has been told that the council
is "no longer legally exposed."
Armstrong worked closely
with Raymond and helped draft
The Armstrong Report which
helped end the hunger strike by
environmentalist Dr Wayne
Kublalsingh back in 2013.
"I know what I can bring to
the table. I have worked on com-
plex problems and maintained
a neutral and rationale position
at all times," he said.
Armstrong said he was unsure
whether Raymond would now
be the new immediate past pres-
ident on the council s executive.
"I have not been officially
installed yet. I only received
notice this morning so I will
know more when I take office,"
Raymond did not respond to
calls for a comment yesterday.
Armstrong takes over at JCC
Dr James Armstrong
While Agriculture Minister Clarence
Rambharat took to social media on Tuesday
to assure National Reforestation workers
they would be paid by 2 pm yesterday, there
was no money in the bank for employees
who checked yesterday.
Rambharat used his Facebook page to
announce on Wednesday that the 2,275 people
employed with the division would begin to
get their two months worth of unpaid salaries
by 2 pm yesterday.
Single mother of five, Jahrilyn Harry, who
broke down and cried during a protest put
on by workers at the bottom of San Fernando
Hill on Wednesday, was ecstatic yesterday
when she heard the salaries were to be paid.
In an interview Harry said the first thing
she hoped to do when she collected her salary
was to pay the arrears and reconnection fee
for her electricity.
She added: "So far I haven t got any feed-
back on pay yet but I am hoping it will come
in the morning.
"I have to pay T&TEC $1,000 to get back
my lights. That is the first thing I want to
Harry, her five children, her sickly sister
and four nieces and nephews live at Jack
Street, Batoo Avenue.
Their electricity supply was cut on Tuesday
when Harry could not pay the bill on time.
She has been raising her five children alone
since their father died on August 9, 2014.
She said she also hoped to stock up on
foodstuff and pay some of the outstanding
bills she racked up over the last eight weeks.
"I have to buy food, pay for day care and
the fees for their school van," she added.
Despite her long list of bills, Harry hopes
she will still be able to buy Christmas gifts
for her children.
No pay yet for 2,275
crime agency soon
Newly-appointed Chief of Defence Staff, Brig Gen Rodney Smart, left, with National
Security Minister Edmund Dillon, right, and acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams
after yesterday's joint national security press conference at the ministry's headquarters,
Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
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