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Williams meets PSC

...continues to deny knowledge of Flying Squad

By Joel Julien joel.julien@trinidadexpress.com

ACTING Police Commissioner Stephen Williams yesterday appeared before the Police Service Commission (PSC) and stood by his denial of any knowledge of a "New Flying Squad Investigation Unit" (NFSIU) being in operation.

Williams attended a meeting at PSC headquarters, at the corner of Pasea Main Road and Churchill Roosevelt Highway in Tunapuna, around 10 a.m. The meeting lasted just over an hour.

PSC chairman Professor Ramesh Deosaran said the meeting was arranged more than two weeks ago and was aimed at discussing Williams's six-month stint as acting commissioner.

A report on Williams's performance is expected to be completed by next month, Deosaran said.

The issue of the NFSIU was raised when the PSC questioned Williams's management of the Police Service.

"The issue of what is in the public domain, the Flying Squad, was raised with him (Williams). We (the PSC) are entitled under the Constitution to see that he manages the resources, the financial resources, the human resources properly," Deosaran said.

"We are also entitled to ask him for any special report, such as for example on the matter of the Flying Squad speculation, so we did raise that issue with him."

Deosaran said Williams denied any knowledge of the NFSIU's existence, a claim Williams has made in public regularly.

"He did explain the extent to which he is aware of it or unaware of it, we did ask him about the vehicles which were allegedly given to what is called the New Flying Squad, under whose jurisdiction did that fall and other related questions and he explained that to us."

Deosaran said the PSC will "properly" examine all Williams's responses and make necessary recommendations in the appraisal due next month.

"We are still meeting, we will examine those responses properly and then come to some final conclusion as far as possible, but as the oversight body for the commissioner of police and deputies we feel responsible to enquire into those things as a matter of finding what the facts are and go beyond speculation and to satisfy ourselves that all is above board and there is no illegal activity taking place, either individually or by any unit, especially if it alleges that it falls under the commissioner of police.

"We are an oversight body, we are not an investigative unit such as the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), so our limit, and we have to be clear about this is merely an oversight body to ensure that the management of the Police Service is done within the constitutional framework and within the Police Service Act, we have no direct powers of investigation in criminal matters or any such related matters," he said.

Speaking following the meeting, Williams said he was "tired" denying knowledge of the NFSIU publicly.

"I have no more on that. I have no more on that because I am a little bit tired in commenting on it unless you all can share something to me that I am unaware of."

Williams said he did not feel there was need for a NFSIU.

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