DCP Jacob: SORT still active, but amalgamation possible

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Deputy Commissioner of Police McDonald Jacob. –

DCP McDonald Jacob has dismissed rumours that the Special Operations Response Team (SORT) will be disbanded, saying such units were necessary in crime-fighting.

Responding to questions from hosts of a radio programme on Tuesday morning, Jacob denied reports on social media that plans were under way to dismantle the elite police unit.

SORT was created by former police commissioner Gary Griffith as an operational team to tackle high-risk criminal threats and was involved in several high-profile matters.

Citing the restructuring of units like the Organised Crime, Narcotics and Firearms Bureau (OCNFB) and the merging of the Cyber Crime and Research and Analytical Units (RAU) under one roof, Jacob said changes in units were inevitable as the executive comes up with new ideas on how best to deal with crime.

“The TTPS has no plans to dismantle SORT. The TTPS consists of about 37 different units – and just within the last 16 months I think you all heard of the OCNFB – and it’s a lot.

“We are looking at things to see what is best, and because of that normal process and progression that takes place, people come up with that.

“Units like SORT are definitely needed. Just recently, earlier this year, SORT, the Coastal and Riverine Unit and our Air Unit were in one. Now they are no longer. Some time earlier this year SORT was separated on its own, the Riverine Unit is on its own and the Air Unit is on its own, because we found that it was better.”

Asked if he intended to merge SORT with other units, Jacob said, “Anything is a possibility.”

He added that people were simply trying to create division and delusion in the public.