Gibbs, Ewatski doomed to fail
Without prejudice to the character or ability of Dwayne Gibbs and Jack Ewatski, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service is better off today now that these two officers have resigned their top posts.
It was clear from the beginning that the appointment of foreigners to such high posts and at exorbitant salaries did not go well with many sections of the national population.
There are many persons out there who are firm believers in "buy local" and that it is an insult to the intelligence of local people to hire from outside, regardless of the qualifications, experience and competence required for the job.
Without a doubt, there would be many police officers, and especially senior ones, who would feel that way. Already low police morale would have been made worse.
Then there is the argument that foreigners cannot understand our culture or know our geography, or would take too long to learn it. And that these are important factors for developing effective strategies.
Whatever the true merits of these arguments, the bottom line is that our Canadian top cops would not have had the kind of support that they needed to get the police service working at the level we need it to for there to be meaningful results. They could have had the best ideas but without the full team, inside the police service and in the general public, behind them, they were doomed to fail.
The resignation of Gibbs and Ewatski clears the way for a fresh start — a reset.
Firstly the tension and contention personally directed at them are no longer issues and it is better that these are out of the way sooner rather than later. There is now another chance to choose replacements who fit the profile that the population believes will work, and now we can focus on the real issue of fighting crime.
But having done that, from the Prime Minister to the Opposition Leader and Minister of National Security all the way down to the police constable and the Police Association must take note: there is no longer any excuse for non-performance or failure.
The excuses of low morale, local versus foreign, lack of cultural and geographic awareness and whatever else have vanished and we can now demand performance and hold accountable those who have just been perpetual complainers.