Calls to stop Saturday’s municipal police exam

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

In this file photo, municipal police keep watch as people go about their business in San Fernando. File photo/Roger Jacob

A call is being made to stop the Municipal Police examination scheduled to take place on Saturday morning, for the recruitment of 300 constables.

The exam is scheduled to begin at 8 am at seven centres throughout the country.

The call is being made by aggrieved applicants who said their names were unfairly removed from an original list of candidates who were successfully screened and selected to sit the exam.

There are claims that the names of some people who were not screened have been added to the original list.

Newsday was told a recruitment exercise was done in March/April to fill some of the 700 vacancies at the regional corporations. Only 300 will be recruited to fill vacancies, with the exception of boroughs and cities.

Some 4,000 potential recruits were screened at the Municipal Police Training Academy at Tagore Street, Marabella and 2,600 were successful.

Files were created for each of these 2,600 successful applicants and a list of their names sent to the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government for submission to the Public Service Commission.

The 2,600 were also told they had qualified to sit a final exam, originally scheduled for April 30. The list of exam candidates was recently posted on the Public Service Commission website.

Successful candidates who say their names were removed from the list went to the Marabella Training Academy earlier this week to ask why they had been omitted.

They said the officers who did the screening and are in charge of the southern and northern division could not say what went wrong between the submission from the academy and the ministry and the commission.

Newsday sent a WhatsApp message to Rural Development and Local Government Minister Faris Al-Rawi spelling out the allegations of omissions and the addition to the list of people who were not screened at Marabella.

Al-Rawi said he was out of the country and was not in a position to respond.

A similar message was sent to the Permanent Secretary in his ministry, but there was no response.

Newsday also contacted Snr Supt Cecil Santana, who is in charge of the Southern Municipal Police Division, for comment. Santana said he was not authorised to speak to the media and advised the Newsday to contact the minister or ministry.

Candidates said they have a legitimate expectation that they would sit the exam and are now calling for it to be stopped until the irregularities are addressed.