Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 15th 2017 Contents A12 news
guardian.co.tt Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Search for 894 municipal police recruits
RADHICA DE SILVA
Government will soon embark
on hiring 894 municipal police
recruits as part of local g0vern-
ment reform. Local Government
Minister Kazim Hosein said the
recruitment process will start
this week when citizens will be
invited to submit applications
to the Service Commission. The
minister said the goal to have
100 municipal police officers
in each regional corporation.
He said last week he was part of a
meeting with Minister of National
Security Edmund Dillon, Permanent
Secretary in the Ministry of Rural
Development Desdra Bascombe,
ministry staff and director of the
Office of Law Enforcement Policy
(OLEP) Keith Renaud and his con-
tingent to discuss recruitment and
training of new municipal police
"Increasing the complement of
municipal police officers to 100 per
Corporation is a pillar of local gov-
ernment reform to improve citizen
safety and systematically reduce the
incidence of crime across the coun-
try," Hosein said.
"The increase in staff in the mu-
nicipal police service will facilitate
a corresponding expansion of their
responsibilities to better serve the
burgesses of each municipality."
Hosein said advertisements in-
viting applications for the post of
police constable (Range 21/24C)
Municipal Police Service will go
out within a week.
"OLEP will assist the Ministry of
Rural Development and Local Gov-
ernment and the Service Commis-
sions Department in the recruitment
and training exercise," he said.
Underscoring the need to enhance
community safety and security, the
minister added: "Now that we have
the approval of the Public Service
Commission for the Permanent
Secretary, Ministry of Rural Devel-
opment and Local Government, to
recruit and select police officers for
the Municipal Police Service, OLEP
will be supporting this initiative and
will provide the necessary training
on core municipal policing func-
The minister said OLEP will be
using the former Marabella South
Secondary School as a training space
for classroom instruction, drills and
defensive training for eight batches
of 30 recruits at a time.
"Firearms training will take place
at a designated shooting range.
Training will be conducted by retired
police officers and other well-sea-
soned security officials over a four
month period," he said.
Hosein said the plan is to restruc-
ture the Municipal Police Service
into a single entity with regional
heads for a greater level of inter-
connectedness and uniformity. The
aim is to elevate and modernize the
standards of protective service at the
local government level, he added.
Social Development Minister:
Govt developing plan
to reduce poverty
Beneficiaries of programmes
conducted by the Poverty Re-
duction Unit will not be ad-
versely affected by its closure
as Government is giving pri-
ority to a National Poverty
Reduction strategy. This was
the assurance from Minister
of Social Development and
Family Services Cherrie-Ann
Critchlow-Cockburn who said
the ministry will continue to
provide seed grants.
She explained that the National
Poverty Reduction Unit had origi-
nally been established by Cabinet
for a three year period, so the pro-
"We are reviewing the opera-
tions and want to ensure that it
is in keeping with Government's
policy objectives," she said.
Critchlow-Cockburn said the re-
view, which will determine wheth-
er there is need for restructuring of
the programme, should be com-
pleted within a month or two.
"In the meantime there is no
need for concern. The ministry
will continue to provide services.
The public will not be adversely
affected," she said.
She said staffing levels at the
Unit will be determined based on
the structure decided upon and
what needs to be achieved.
"It is possible that there might
be some retention but we have to
complete the review," she said,
adding that workers had been on
short term contracts.
Former Minister of the People
Dr Glen Ramadharsingh said it was
unfortunate that the Unit, which
was aimed at getting people out
of poverty, is being shut down.
He said it had been "a unit of hope
which had helped get hundreds and
perhaps thousands of people out
He said with support of the
Unit some people had been able
to start up businesses which are
"When people became unem-
ployed this Unit provided the assis-
tance they needed to get into small
enterprises. They built businesses
and provided employment for oth-
ers. It is a cruel twist of irony that
the Unit to help people is being
Ramadharsingh said there is no
need to close the Unit.
"They could have reorganised the
Unit and made an effort to make
people more accountable," he said.
As a result of the closure, he
said, "more people will become
unemployed, those employees from
the Unit who are being sent home
will have loans to pay, children in
school, they will themselves be in
danger of falling into poverty."
Critchlow-Cockburn said the
programme had failed to achieve
part of its mandate which was
developing a national poverty re-
"We need to have that strategy in
place at a national level," she said,
adding that work on the strategy
is being done in collaboration
with the UNDP. Government is
also looking at other avenues for
getting the strategy implemented
as that will impact "how best we
operate and deal with the poverty
issue," she said.
A 2014 Poverty Report compiled
by Kairi Consultants in collabora-
tion with the Poverty Reduction
Unit estimated that more than 24
per cent of the population is living
below the poverty line.
Head of Kairi Consultants Dr
Ralph Henry said: "We are con-
cerned that poverty has gone up but
there is a debate as to how much."
He said closing the Poverty Re-
duction Unit should not be taken to
mean Government had renounced
a commitment to poverty reduction
"because whether there is a unit
or not, poverty reduction has to be
Critchlow-Cockburn said the
report from Kairi Consultants is
before Cabinet. She said there is
need for a 2017-2018 poverty study
and "we will work with the Central
Statistical Office on that."
THA Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles, centre, tries his hand at the cuatro loaned to him by Venezuelan
cuatro master Raul Landeta, right, who accompanied Venezuelan Ambassador Coromoto Godoy during a
courtesy call to the Chief Secretary at the Administrative Complex, Calder Hall, on Monday. Landeta is
the coordinator of a musical exchange programme which was recently started by the Venezuelan
Embassy in Tobago.
TRYIN' A TING
RE: Emergency Drill at Ramco Industries Limited
No. 2 Shafk. Drive, Cross Crossing, San Fernando
On February 16, 2017 during the period 10am to 12 noon, Ramco
Industries Limited in partnership with the Trinidad and Tobago Fire
Service will be conducting an Emergency Drill at the compound of
Ramco Industries Limited. The purpose of the exercise is to test Ram-
co's response capabilities in an emergency situation. It also serves to
assess their ability to protect the health/safety of their employees, the
general public and neighbouring businesses.
During the period of this exercise, the following are to be noted:-
• Sounding of an audio alarm
• Movement of emergency vehicles
• Visible police presence
• Temporary rerouting of traffc
We apologize for any inconvenience caused and we sincerely thank you
for your co-operation in this effort.
Assistant Chief Fire Offcer
In replying, the above
number and date of this
letter should be quoted.
FIRE SERVICE HEADQUARTERS
PORT OF SPAIN.
P.O. Box 669
January 30, 2017
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