National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds. –
MINISTER of National Security Fitzgerald Hinds, in a statement on Thursday, said DCP Mc Donald Jacob will continue to head the police service.
He was reacting to Justice Nadia Kangaloo’s ruling that Gary Griffith and Jacob were each not validly named as acting Commissioner of Police (CoP.)
The High Court judge ruled that the acting position needed Parliament’s nod but this was not done.
In his statement, Hinds assured the police service would continue to do its work.
“It is acknowledged that there were numerous conflicting legal opinions before the court, in respect of the interpretation of the Constitution, in relation to the appointment of an acting CoP. Madame Justice Kangaloo, at today’s sitting of her court, resolved the issue.”
Hinds said Kangaloo had ruled Griffith’s August 18 appointment by the Police Service Commission (PSC) as acting CoP was not in keeping with section 123 of the Constitution, and so was declared invalid. The judge’s ruling also affected Jacob’s acting appointment which now also stands invalid.
“In effect, this means that while there is a vacancy in the post of CoP, Deputy Commissioner of Police Mc Donald Jacob, by virtue of his being the most senior police officer in the TTPS, remains in charge of the said police service from this substantive office, until such time as a CoP is appointed in accordance with the now settled law,” Hinds said.
“As Minister of National Security, and on behalf of the Government of TT, I here give the public the assurance, that the TTPS will continue to execute its responsibility to the people of TT, without let or hindrance, as it is so mandated under the laws of Trinidad and Tobago.”
Hinds’ statement was in line with the Prime Minister’s remarks at his last media conference at the Diplomatic Centre on October 2.
Dr Rowley had said, “The police service will just be run by the deputy commissioner who is now acting as commissioner of police. That is what will happen. There is no need for the country to get capsized over that.
“Once a commission is in place, they pick up the baton there and proceed to go through the process of appointing a commissioner and, in the meantime, the deputy commissioner is in the post and will continue to run the police service as deputy commissioner.
“If his acting as commissioner is struck down by the court, then he has another position, deputy commissioner.”