Smooth process at police recruitment centres

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Police recruit candidates on day two of the TTPS recruitment drive at the Marabella Police Academy. – Photo by Lincoln Holder

THE recruitment drive for police officers continued at the Municipal Police Academy at Tagore Avenue, Marabella on Saturday.

A similar exercise took place simultaneously at the Police Academy in St James.

The drive began on Friday with candidates with surnames starting with the letters A-M being interviewed.

From as early as 6 am, candidates with surnames starting with the letters N-Z went to both academies hoping they would be recruited.

Some of them saw the opportunity of becoming a police officer as a means of personal development.

Makesi Williams from Siparia told Sunday Newsday, “The reason why I tried to join the police was because I saw an opening in different categories in well-being and self development.”

Williams, 18, said he always wanted to become a police officer.

A 25-year-old candidate from Moruga also sees the police service as an opportunity for self development.

“For me, this is a stepping stone coming out of where I am coming from.”

He said there were not many opportunities within his community for him to progress.

Tyler Ramkissoon from New Grant said, “I’m looking for a better opportunity and a more stable income.”

He said he was satisfied with how the interview process was conducted.

Claxton Bay resident Ricardo Ramkhelawan said, “Policing is my dream job. I always wanted to do policing.”

He too found the interview process to be smooth.

Other candidates said they had no problems with the interview process.

In a post on its Facebook page, the police service said thousands of patriotic young men answered the call to be members of the service on Friday.

“Approximately 4,200 men showed up yesterday with their documents in hand and smartly dressed to be screened to start their careers as police officers.”

The move is in line with plans by the government to increase the sanctioned strength of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service this year.

In his budget presentation in the House of Representatives on September 26, Finance Minister Colm Imbert said, “To bring the police service back up to full strength, we have mandated the Commissioner of Police to triple the intake of police recruits in 2024, from the usual annual intake of 300 recruits a year to 1,000 recruits in 2024.”

To facilitate this substantial increase, he said, a hybrid approach to the training of recruits will be employed using facilities outside of the police academy in St James.

This includes the use of the Chaguaramas Convention Centre and a number of schools outside of school hours to train additional police recruits.

Imbert said, “Appropriate funding for the required additional trainers has been provided within recurrent expenditure.

“The total number of active police officers is constantly affected by mandatory retirement and/or resignation of officers from the service and by the number of officers on vacation or other forms of leave.”