Lucky: Acting Police Chief a welcome change
By Sasha Harrinanan Saturday, August 11 2012
A local Commissioner of Police (CoP) has the advantage in dealing with issues affecting the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS).
This was the view expressed by Police Complaints Authority (PCA) Chairman, Gillian Lucky, yesterday following an hour-long meeting with newly appointed Acting CoP, Stephens Williams at the PCA’s offices in Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, Port-of-Spain.
Lucky said Williams’ years of experience in the TTPS, and his being an attorney, meant he had a quicker and deeper grasp of the PCA’s concerns and recommendations.
“When I met with the former CoP (Dwayne Gibbs), there was some catch-up that had to be done before we could actually get on the same page for discussions. I'm not ill-speaking anybody, who has left our jurisdiction, I'm just saying that it was really a welcome change that much of what we raised today was already being addressed by the Acting CoP, or they were matters which he was prepared to at least give serious and meaningful consideration,” Lucky revealed.
She added, “a remarkable difference to me” between Gibbs, who hailed from Canada, and TT national Williams was “the recognition that Mr Williams was very much on board with what we (PCA) had on the agenda for discussion.
“Because he has been a member of the TTPS, and is a qualified attorney-at-law,” Lucky added, “when we were dealing with issues such as the use of force policy, and it involved any technical or legal matters, he was able to grasp it rapidly.”
However, the PCA Chairman made it clear she was “not going to talk about whether the preference is for a local or foreign” CoP. Lucky chose to focus instead on her “meaningful meeting” with the Acting CoP, telling reporters it was good not having to deal with peripheral issues, and to speak in a frank manner.
Another benefit of having Williams as Acting CoP, Lucky said, was that he was “prepared to listen meaningfully to the views and recommendations of the Police Complaints Authority.”
Gibbs and former Deputy CoP, Jack Ewatski, also a Canadian, submitted their resignations to the Police Service Commission on July 26, 14 months shy of the end of their three-year contracts. Their resignations became effective four days ago – August 7.
Williams was subsequently appointed for a six-month term as Acting CoP until a new person is recruited to head the TTPS.