Thursday, February 22, 2018

Williams to act as CoP again

Stephen Williams has been granted yet another six-month extension of his contract as acting Police Commissioner.

This latest appointment brings to three the renewals for Williams in the post. 

Williams was appointed on August 7, 2012, taking over from then commissioner Dwayne Gibbs.

Gibbs and deputy commissioner Jack Ewatski signed a three-year contract in 2010 and resigned 14 months before their term came to an end amid criticism of their performances.

Following their resignations, the State took a decision to make a total ex-gratia payment of more than $2 million to the two Canadians.

At yesterday’s meeting of the Police Service Commission (PSC), a three-hour sitting among chairman Prof Ramesh Deosaran and members Addison Masefield Khan, Martin George, James Armstrong, and Roamar Achat-Saney, it was decided that Williams will continue at the helm of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS).

In a release issued yesterday afternoon, the PSC said it met at its office at the corner of Churchill-Roosevelt Highway and Pasea Main Road in Tunapuna “to consider the appointment of an Acting Commissioner of Police. This follows the Commission’s meeting with Mr Stephen Williams on Thursday January 9, 2014”.

The release said the Commission took note of some of the achievements of the Police Service in 2013.

“Some of the achievements noted were a 30 per cent reduction in violent crimes, 26 per cent reduction in serious crimes and a 23 per cent reduction in fatal accidents. 

“The Commission also noted that several positive initiatives have been implemented, such as improvement in police visibility, introduction of the inkless fingerprint system, and on-going Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) training.”

The PSC release made reference to a meeting last week between the PSC executive and Williams, where it was pointed out to the top cop about the delays in submitting reports.

“The Acting Commissioner of Police has expressed his regret in writing for the delays in the submission of reports requested by the Commission’s Secretariat,” the PSC said and he will submit all outstanding reports by month’s end.

The PSC said it decided to re-appoint Williams for a further six months, from February 1 to July 31.

When the Express contacted Williams yesterday afternoon, he indicated he was not in a position to comment since he was about to enter a meeting with the National Security Council.

At a media briefing last week following Williams’ appraisal, Deosaran explained that the PSC requires specific reports from the TTPS to effectively fulfil its mandate of appraising the Police Commissioner and the three deputies.

These required reports were  not being given on time.

Deosaran told of a situation of a report that was due to the PSC last June but was supplied four months late. 

One of the reports that the PSC called on Williams to provide is that on the issue of the “disturbing absenteeism” of police officers at  court matters.