IN his first Carnival as a member of this country's Police Service, Canada-born Deputy Commissioner of Police Jack Ewatski has been mandated to ensure the festive season is safe.
Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs, a fellow Canadian who will also be experiencing his first Carnival, made the announcement at a news conference at the Police Administration Building in Port of Spain yesterday to give details of security for the Carnival season.
"In keeping with the security structure that was put in place during the Fifth Summit of the Americas and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, and to ensure effective coordination of all policing efforts, Deputy Commissioner Jack Ewatski has been placed in charge of the overall operations," Gibbs said.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Simon Alexis will assist Ewatski in his role as Gold Commander, Gibbs said.
Although it will be his first Carnival, Ewatski was confident he will be able to handle the task at hand.
"It is a very unique situation with the size and the scope of the activities here in Trinidad and Tobago. However, when you look at basic training, preparation and planning for any large-scale event, there are certain elements of that which are universal," Ewatski said.
"I am very fortunate, though, to be heading up a team of very experienced individuals that have made my role as Gold Commander somewhat easy in that respect because they have years of experience."
Ewatski said previous Carnival plans will be reviewed and positive aspects of each plan implemented.
Gibbs also ensured that despite the current plans of a possible sick-out by police officers on Carnival Monday and Tuesday, law and order will be maintained during the festive season.
"We do, however, recognise the fact that the Carnival season brings a whole new dynamic to the landscape of Trinidad and Tobago, as excess in everything becomes the norm of the day," Gibbs said.
"While you play your mas we want to remind the general public that you should not throw caution to the wind. We ask that everyone be responsible and not ruin the fun for others.
"Be assured that the TTPS (Trinidad and Tobago Police Service) is ready and more than happy to help you get back to your senses as well. We are prepared to effectively respond and address both the expected and unexpected occurrences that tend to pervade the landscape during this period."
Ewatski said tomorrow's Soca Monarch final will be safe.