Cop challenges CoP’s failure to promote him

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

CoP Erla Harewood-Christopher –

A superintendent of police in the Central Division has received the court’s permission to challenge the “continuing failure” of the Police Commissioner to assess him in a higher rank after he was belatedly promoted in 2023.

On February 23, Supt Garvin Simon was granted leave by Justice Jacqueline Wilson to pursue his claim for a declaration that the CoP’s refusal to assess him for the rank of senior superintendent of police is unlawful and an order to that the assessment take place.

Simon, who joined the service in 1996, was retroactively promoted in 2022.

This meant he obtained the rank of superintendent effective December 2020.

However, because of changes to departmental orders, several others were assessed for the higher rank but he was not because of his belated promotion.

“At no fault of my own, I was unable to partake in this assessment since I only received my retroactive promotion on October 24, 2023. At the time of the assessment in November 2022, I would have been a superintendent of police for a period of two years.”

He says he has a right to be assessed to the rank of senior superintendent as he meets the criteria for promotion. He also said his attorneys wrote to the CoP but has not received a response.

“I submit that the failure and/or omission and/or refusal of the respondent to cause my assessment for the rank of senior superintendent is unlawful and contrary to the provisions of the Police Service Act and its regulations.”

Simon said the commissioner has “no good reason” for refusing to assess him for the higher rank.

In December 2022 and October 2023, Simon says three officers were also retroactively promoted to senior superintendent.

“ I possessed the necessary requirements to be assessed as the other officers …”

He says the commissioner’s actions has led to others being promoted while “ my career has been stymied.”

“Having retroactively promoted me, the respondent was duty bound to assess me for the rank of senior superintendent of police.

“Without the said assessment, the respondent will be preventing my career advancement.”

Simon’s lawsuit also says in January, two officers were promoted to the higher rank and this means ten others are awaiting promotion to that rank and if he is not assessed as he should be he will not be properly placed on the merit list and will not be lawfully promoted.

His claim comes up for hearing on April 8.

He is represented by attorneys Kiel Taklalsingh, Keron Ramkhalwhan and Rhea Khan.