Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 14th 2018 Contents JOEL JULIEN
New York City is the largest city in
the United States and boasts a pop-
ulation of 8.5 million. This means
that Trinidad and Tobago with its
population of 1.3 million is more
than six times smaller than New
York City when it comes to popu-
However, the murder toll of the
two for 2017 tell a different story.
Despite being that much smaller
than New York City, Trinidad and
Tobago has recorded 200 more
New York City recorded 290
murders for 2017.
The murder toll in Trinidad and
Tobago for 2017 was 494.
This is a far cry from the twin-
ning that was supposed to have
taken place between the Trinidad
and Tobago Police Service (TTPS)
and the New York Police Depart-
ment (NYPD) in 2014.
In 2014 in an effort to improve
the operations of the TTPS, then
national security minister Gary
Grif ith met with the the NYPD's
deputy commissioner John Miller
with the goal of twinning the two
The twinning of the two police
departments was aimed at pro-
viding the TTPS with the experi-
ence and knowledge that could be
gained from interacting with the
of icers of the NYPD.
The initiative was developed by
Bill Bratton who visited Trinidad
and Tobago in 2013.
Following his visit here, Bratton
was given his second stint as NYPD
commissioner from 2014 to 2016.
Bratton and the broken
Bratton is touted to have had a
major role in turning crime around
in New York City.
New York City was transformed
from being one of the most
crime-ridden cities in the world in
the mid 90s to being one of the saf-
est cities today.
In 1990 New York City recorded
its highest murder toll of 2,245.
The murder toll in T&T for 1990
was only 84.
Bratton irst served as NYPD
commissioner from 1994 to 1996.
It was during those years, and
the years following, that the city
saw a decline in murder rates, vi-
olent crimes, burglary and vehicle
Bratton soon became famous
for applying criminologists James
Wilson and George Kelling's "bro-
ken windows" theory of policing,
which claims stricter enforcement
of minor crimes deters more seri-
Bratton also implemented a
crime data and performance-meas-
uring programme known as COMP-
STAT, which departments across
the country and the world began
to use as a model.
COMPSTAT, which is short for
Compare Statistics, is a tactical
planning and accountability sys-
Under Bratton, COMPSTAT iden-
ti ied where crimes were occurring
and held local commanders re-
sponsible for their areas.
Twining the TTPS with the
NYPD was anticipated to have al-
lowed our local of icers to get irst-
hand exposure to how the NYPD
manages COMPSTAT, including
domain awareness, community
policing intelligence and coun-
TTPS of icers would also have
gotten real-time exposure on the
beat, including covert operations.
Detectives from the NYPD were
also going to visit T&T to provide
updates on practices and tech-
niques that were said to have im-
proved crime scene investigations
and aid in improving the detection
The intention, Grif ith said, was
not to try and replicate exactly
what was previously done in New
York City, but that there were basic
principles that could be utilised to
cause positive transformation in
Trinidad and Tobago.
Bratton said like a doctor dealing
with a patient, every city is differ-
ent and requires different amounts
of medicine, different prescrip-
tions and different procedures.
He said the secret of it all was
having good police leaders, good
political leadership, community
leadership that can be involved in
collaboration, working with the
political and police leadership.
Grif ith echoed this saying that
there was a strong need for the
TTPS to operate on important
pillars of good leadership: Man-
agement, accountability and per-
formance measurement. Without
these pillars, all anti-crime initia-
tives will not be fruitful.
The NYPD was also able to suc-
cessfully transform its image to a
more positive one in the eyes of
the public, by utilising the watch
words: Courtesy, Professionalism
and Respect (CPR).
Grif ith said he would have liked
this to have been adopted by the
TTPS, so that of icers could im-
prove their interaction with the
public, as well as how they are per-
By 2015, however, Grif ith was
replaced as national security min-
ister and no further efforts toward
the twinning of the the TTPS and
NYPD were advanced.
Grif ith is said to be short-listed
as a candidate as this country's
next police commissioner.
Continuing next week
Sunday, January 14, 2018
NY City, T&T go different
directions in crime ight
FLASHBACK: November 2013 Former New York police commissioner William
Bratton shakes hands with former national security minister Gary Griffith at
"A Nation to Defend" conference at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain.
A stray dog walks past the burnt vehicle in which the driver Devon
Hernandez and Joshua Andrews, 15, were killed after an attack along
Pelican Extension, Laventille, last week.
PICTURE ABRAHAM DIAZ
ANTIGANG INITIATIVES, COMMUNITY POLICING HELP NYC'S CRIME FIGHT
The murder tolls of New York City and
Trinidad and Tobago have gone in
different directions since 2015.
In 2015 the murder toll for New York
City was 352.
This gradually decreased in the
following two years from 335 in 2016 to
290 in 2017.
The 290 murder toll is said to be the
lowest in the modern era.
In Trinidad and Tobago, the murder toll
has been going the other way.
In 2015 the murder toll in Trinidad and
Tobago was 420.
In 2016 this figure increased to 462.
For the year so far, the murder toll is
25.The most recent murder was the the
discovery of the body of 40-year-old
Leonard De La Rosa on a compound in
the vicinity of the Samaan Tree bar along
the Aranguez Main Road, around 10.30
De La Rosa had what appeared to be a
single bullet hole to the head.
"Crime in New York City has reached
a new low," NYPD commissioner James P
"The murder rate hasn't been lower
since the Korean War. As we celebrate
this New York miracle, we continue
deepening relationships with the public,
emphasizing the shared responsibility
we have to our safety. I am confident we
can do more. And we will. It is an honour
to lead this organization and be a part
of the change we are seeing across the
nation's safest city."
As the possibility of New York City's low
crime figures were becoming apparent,
O'Neill attributed the declines to some
core factors: "precision" policing against
key offenders, anti-gang initiatives and
aggressive gun investigations.
O'Neill also believes that the
neighbourhood policing initiative had
opened up avenues of communication
between cops and communities.
The NYPD said that neighbourhood
policing will be a mainstay going forward.
In July 2010 when Canadian Dwayne
Gibbs was appointed Trinidad and
Tobago's police commissioner, he
implemented the 21st Century Policing
The initiative which mainly focused on
getting police officers out of the stations
and improving their interaction with
citizens was touted as being "a new day
is close to hand", on the TTPS's website.
However, when Gibbs resigned in
2012 the 21st Century Policing Initiative
Speaking at the Lower House on
Friday night, Attorney General Faris Al-
Rawi said that crime remains the largest
and most significant issue facing the
Al-Rawi said while the murder rate
continues to be an issue "it is not lost
on the citizens of this country with the
significant improvements in the arrest
rate following events".
Al-Rawi said this was a scintilla of
hope to the population.
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