‘It Cannot be Business as Usual in the Police Service’

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Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley (left) receiving a copy of the report from Professor Ramesh Deosaran

Report on Manpower Audit of Police Service Warns

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – The Trinidad and Tobago government on Tuesday
received a 600-page Police Manpower Audit Committee Report with a warning that
it contained recommendations to counter the “business as usual” within the Trinidad
and Tobago Police Service (TTPS).

The committee, which was chaired by criminologist Professor Ramesh Deosaran,
was tasked with examining the existing manpower strength at all ranks and related
units of the Police Service as well as making a qualitative and quantitative
assessment of the extent to which the expected levels of efficiency, effectiveness
and accountability have been achieved

The committee, which took nine months to undertake the assignment, was also
asked to carry out an examination of the developmental policies and the current
standards and practices in the recruitment, deployment, training and career
progression of officers.

Deosaran, a former legislator, told the handing over ceremony that “we believe it
cannot be business as usual with the police service or matters related to national
security”.

He said while there had been several previous reports regarding the police, the
recommendations had not been acted upon.

“We have the confidence in you and your government that this report will certainly
not suffer a similar fate,” Deosaran said, reminding Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley
of his instructions when the committee was appointed “that there would be no
sacred cow.”

“We well understand the implications of that because to move a system from one
point to another, which is normally called transformation, you are going to have to
mash a few corns,” Deosaran said, adding that the 600 page document was based
on factual information.

“You also told us you wanted a report with facts as far as possible and indeed we
have done that. Whatever we have recommended rest as far as we have measured
on the facts of the case.

“That is a difference between this particular committee and previous committees
which had relied mainly on interviews and opinions. This committee has therefore
gone much deeper than that and trying to fulfil your own expectations”.

He said the report is really to help the police, public safety, the government so that
the economics of the country will be more favourable in terms of freedom to walk
anywhere, improved services “because while crime is a number one problem the
economics is also a number one problem and the two are strongly related”.

Prime Minister Rowley sought to assure the committee that the work would not be
left in his office to gather dust, saying it would be sent to the parliament soon.

“It would be inconceivable that we can now receive this report after nine months of
hard work and allow it to be on any shelf,” he said, noting that in his office “there is
no shelf.

“Therefore there is no chance of this going on any shelf. Where this is going is to
the Parliament. It is going to the Cabinet on Thursday, I have the support of my
colleagues that it would be dealt with immediately and even before I read anything
in here…this document is on its way to the Joint Select Committee of the
Parliament,” Rowley said.

He said the document will also be made public. – CMC

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