Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 17th 2013 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, September 17, 2013
The 21st-century policing initia-
tive instituted by former Commis-
sioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs has
merit and some of its components
will be incorporated into the Police
Service, according to National
Security Minister Gary Griffith.
Griffith, in a telephone interview
yesterday, said he intended to meet
with acting Police Commissioner
Stephen Williams as soon as possible
to discuss the measure.
The initiative met with much crit-
icism from the Police Service and
Social Welfare Association, which
complained that owing to the shift
system, its members were being
made to work beyond the stipulated
Gibbs and his deputy, Jack Ewats-
ki, launched the initiative in April
2011. After the Canadians resigned
in July 2012, Williams scrapped the
The association filed an injunction
at the Industrial Court, Port-of-
Spain, to stop it but it was thrown
Saying he had no intention of
"throwing out the baby with the
bathwater," Griffith added:
"I want to seek the advice of act-
ing Commissioner Williams on that
matter because there were some very
positive elements in the 21st-century
policing initiative that can be incor-
porated in what we intend to do.
"You can never really scratch off
the initiative. It is something that
played a fundamental role in reduc-
ing crime and which involves vis-
ibility and give the citizens that feel-
ing of comfort."
He said Government's proposed
Rapid Response Unit was along the
lines of the initiative which empha-
sised high visibility and response on
the part of police in less than ten
On plans to transform the Police
Service, Griffith said that included
continuous training of officers and
the purchase of modern tools and
Saying citizens can expect to see
a "total rejuvenation" of the police,
"They are going to see a better
performance of the Police Service,
much better than what they are see-
"My job is to provide that support
mechanism, administrative and
financial requirements that they need
for them to move forward to be more
successful in their operations.
"We want the Police Service to
have the equipment so that they
could perform beyond the call of
He said that would involve several
different initiatives, including a prop-
er audit of the Police Service, its
numbers, strength, weaknesses oper-
ational training and getting the police
to work more hand-in-hand with
21st-century policing returns
The incident in which the Har-
bour Master ran aground off Port-
of-Spain last month may have
been due to a "freak occurrence,"
according to Brent Williams, a
senior legal officer of the Mar-
itime Services Division.
The boat, with 520 people on
board, ran into trouble during a
cruise on August 18 when the tide
went out and the boat struck the
submerged wreck of a tugboat in
the harbour not far from the Hyatt
The Harbour Master became
stuck and the Coast Guard had to
ferry passengers to shore.
The day after the rescue, the
hull of the boat was inspected by
maritime consultant, Commodore
Garnet Best, who found no integral
damage, just minor dents.
The boat was deemed safe to
sail and has hosted several parties,
including weddings and corporate
events, with customers apparently
But John Victor, communica-
tions manager at the Ministry of
Transport, told the T&T Guardian
a wider investigation had now been
requested by the Minister of Trans-
port Stephen Cadiz under section
370 of the Shipping Act.
Williams laid out the reasons
for the investigation, saying:
"Where there's a casualty, which
includes anything from a death to
damage to a ship within the waters
of T&T, the minister may call for
an inquiry to be held.
"We are in the process of doing
that in accordance with the Ship-
ping Act and the International
Maritime Organisation casualty
The ministry has yet to appoint
the person or people who will carry
out the investigation but the
process is scheduled to be com-
pleted and a report submitted to
Cadiz by the end of next month.
The Coast Guard absolved the
captain of blame in the wake of
Williams, however, said all sub-
merged wrecks in the port were
charted and all captains should
have up-to-date charts and a
knowledge of the tides. He said
the Harbour Master might have
experienced a freak tide.
Adrian Scoon, managing director
of Harbour Tours Ltd, took the
T&T Guardian on a tour of the
vessel where he pointed out the
750 lifejackets and 23 liferafts on
board. He said 25 crew members
are on board during a sailing.
He bought the boat in
Bridgetown, Barbados, where it is
All the safety equipment had
been in place since he acquired the
boat and was checked every two
weeks, he said.
Wendell Lopez, who was cap-
taining the vessel when it ran
aground, has been temporarily
replaced by an experienced skipper,
Kenneth Duboulet, while an inter-
nal investigation was being carried
out, Scoon said.
He said the Maritime Services
Division had been "meticulous"
in its inspection of the Harbour
Master and since the incident had
been running "a magnifying glass"
over the vessel, which is due to
host a big event next Tuesday
Habour Master cleared for sailing
The 21st-century policing
initiative was launched in the
Western Division on April 4, 2011. It
was implemented in Tobago in
March 2012 and two months later in
The aim was to increase public
confidence and foster better
customer service, increase patrols
through heightened police visibility
and ultimately increase the
Police were to be based in patrol
cars and many police stations were
to be shut down.
ABOUT THE INITIATIVE
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, left, and National Security Minister, Gary
Griffith, walk to Hall of Justice during the procession from the Trinity
Cathedral at the ceremonial opening of the 2013-2014 law term yesterday.
PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
Griffith revisits Gibbs plan
Please be advised that ALL branches of
be closed on Tuesday 17th September
2013 to facilitate a Staff Meeting.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
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