Police Association not happy with top cop selection

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Insp Gideon Dickson. –

PRESIDENT of the Police Service Social and Welfare Association Insp Gideon Dickson said police officers are not satisfied with the way the authorities dealt with the vacancy of the Police Commissioner.

In a telephone interview with Newsday, Dickson said while the imbroglio involving former police commissioner Gary Griffith and former acting police commissioner Mc Donald Jacob resulted in the top cop post remaining vacant for some time, the morale of police officers remain unshaken.

However, he acknowledged that the association’s members know the process for selecting a commissioner is incomplete but hope that it is rectified soon, “This week for the latest or by yesterday.”

“We want to put in a public space that we are not satisfied as a body how the authorities would have handled the issue of selecting a police commissioner. We would have been one of the first entities to speak out in relation to the legal notice and we have accepted the ruling of the court in this matter.”

He said the entire imbroglio signalled the need for constitutional reform, particularly as it deals with selecting a police commissioner and deputy commissioners.

The association will offer its suggestions at a later date.

Last week, the High Court invalidated the acting positions of Griffith and Jacob and struck down previous instruments of law used to appoint them.

Asked how the past few weeks have impacted officers, Dickson said: “When it comes down to the morale of officers, from an operational perspective, they still continue to give of their all in spite of all the challenges. Officers, still continue to hold the frontline from crime and the invisible enemy. We are still motivated in what we have to do.”

He also said the anouncement of settling wage negotiations will go a long way in boosting the moral of officers. Administratively, he said there were key issues that could be affected without a police commissioner at the helm, such as the transferring and disciplining of officers.