It became clear by the last Cabinet meeting that an identifiably Trini "plan" is to succeed the short, unhappy term as Police Commissioner of Canadian Dwayne Gibbs. On the day the Cabinet signed off $289 million in funding for a homegrown crime something, Dr Gibbs was reportedly heaving his suitcases out of the Flagstaff Hill house he had occupied since late 2010.
Over the time he had worn the double-braided peaked cap, a white undershirt neckline showing in the V-neck of his tunic collar, the Canadian had hung out at Flagstaff like any overnighting minister, or Olympian javelin thrower. He had never moved into the official residence that, from colonial times, commands the tree-lined driveway into St James Barracks.
Preferring to drive his own foreign-used look-alike, he mostly avoided the black BMW that came with the occupancy and was parked in the residence garage. Albertan Dwayne Gibbs never learned the communications value of representing the Trini metaphor "large and in charge".
Having wished him well, I had pictured him making a statement by leading a troop along Independence Square, easily astride one of those sturdy steeds actually imported from western Canada. Despite his upbringing on a prairie farm, however, he had never gained comfort on horseback.
What T&T imported in Dwayne Gibbs was not any tall-in-the-saddle Royal Canadian Mounted policeman, with the legendary reputation of never failing to "get" the bad guy. The head-hunting delivered a law-enforcement indoorsman, who saw his mission as the reimagining and remaking of the T&T Police Service. The Service, bypassed by waves of advancement and modernisation that had washed other policing shores, had remained a backwater organisation.
All right, but could Dr Gibbs, at least for photo-op propaganda purpose in this dangerous town, not strap onto his hip an automatic Magnum, such as carried by any shapely policewoman pretending to direct traffic? Not for him.
Dwayne Gibbs remained true to his white-bread ways, shirt-tails properly tucked into pants, clean-cut and physically fit enough to finish mini-marathons. He ran his course without any accompanying cohort of officers, senior or junior. Physical culture doesn't belong in T&T professional policing culture.
On the occasion of an alleged drop in crime figures, Dr Gibbs was heard to speak lines such as, "We have worked very hard." He called the T&T police, even those who had raided TV6 and Newsday, "peace officers".
Peace? T&T has wanted war. The "war on crime" cliché represents the terms in which T&T has wanted somehow to acknowledge the commitment of its police. For Dr Gibbs, crime was a battlefront that the police, once reorganised, would eventually, confidently and effectively engage.
His approach was cerebral. It involved abstract words like "initiative" and invoked a concept hardly appreciated and badly received for its implications in T&T: "21st Century Policing".
The People's Partnership anti-genius response has been to replace Dr Gibbs not with acting Commissioner Stephen Williams with his loser's image. No. But with National Security Minister Jack Warner, ever the moonlight gambler, now calling rhetorical law-enforcement shot on casinos, which he accuses of money laundering.
Welcome then to the post-Gibbs era that looks much like the pre-Gibbs era. In the T&T way, he's a man identified with a would-be policing regime now close to being forgotten as if it were a minor aberration in the prosecution of typical T&T business.
Soon after his departure from the Sackville Street executive suites, $289 million was liberated for the purposes of an allegedly military campaign he had never taken with literal seriousness. He had even questioned whether more warm police bodies were needed, citing international population per capita norms, and had determined that fewer police stations were needed.
The Jack Warner model endorsed by the administration entails application of hopefully overwhelming force. It means drafting 5,000 special reserve police officers (SRPs) into a people's army of ground troops for waging that literal war on crime, improving emergency response technology, buying 300 more cars and building more police stations.
Will he now be able to project enough police force to maintain law and order on the roads and highways, and to ensure in other areas, unpaid by special-duty fees, a deterrent "police presence"? Skulking has been an acknowledged and unquestioned police way of life. Having come to accept it, the public are no longer surprised to find no law-enforcement uniforms on the new priority routes of the Western Main Road and Ariapita Avenue, nor any to suppress the anarchy outside Express House in Port of Spain where Charlotte Street traffic from north and south pours into double-parked Independence Square.
How will the Jack Warner mobilisation for a human-wave assault on crime actually get police to work? Will the SRP volunteers, now signing up presumably on contract, serve as foot soldiers, patrolling areas from which Sgt Ramesar's relatively privileged Police Association cohorts mostly keep their distance?
Such questions arise because the Warner police plan, preceding his promised "crime plan", offers nothing about the operating systems by which added police capacity will be deployed and directed. But with policing returned into T&T hands, such concerns need no longer detain us; they are, after all, just the white and Canadian ways beyond which we have newly evolved.