Gibbs in hot seat
By DARCEL CHOY Tuesday, July 10 2012
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COME ON GET UP: National Security Minister Jack Warner nudges Wayne Kublalsingh yesterday outside the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain shortly after W...
POLICE Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs was yesterday placed in the hot seat by National Security Minister Jack Warner as Gibbs was asked by Warner to respond to questions about the safety of the capital Port-of-Spain.
At a press conference at Warner’s office in Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain, after a meeting with local Government heads, Gibbs was asked by Warner to respond to concerns raised by Port- of-Spain Mayor Louis Lee Sing that the city was not safe although there are 13 police stations.
“The mayor says he cannot understand why Port-of-Spain with a city of four square miles, is not the safest city. He could not understand that nor can I, can you help us?” Jack asked as he looked squarely at Gibbs.
Gibbs responded noting that the service can have thousands of officers out on the streets but they will get the same results. “We have to look at how we deploy our officers. How do we engage them with the community? How is the community working to create safety for themselves because officers are out there to assist but the community has to say they want a safe community,” Gibbs said.
He noted that in Port-of-Spain, there are leaders in various sectors including spiritual leaders and people who deal with community development. “Bring those people together, capatalise all of their strengths with the police and not just standing back (sic) and protecting the citizens. They have to get out there working with the youth and the communities in a collaborative fashion to deal with problems that are unique in each community,” Gibbs added.
He noted that the city has an opportunity to be one of the safest places in the world but it isn’t happening because the police and the communities are not working strongly together.
Speaking to reporters after, Warner was asked how confident he felt with Gibbs running the police service. “I don’t want to make a judgement as yet. It would be premature for to me make a judgement before I get all the facts,” Warner said.
He was also asked whether he said to businessmen at a private meeting recently that he would get rid of Gibbs and Deputy Commissioner of Police Jack Ewatski - both Canadians brought down to lead the Police Service on contract.
“I never said I would get rid of them. We were talking privately and they all expressed serious concern in the management and leadership of the police service. I do share their concerns and the businessmen are concerned they are not getting the delivery they want. At the end of the day what they want is to feel confident that crime is being addressed,” Warner said.