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Stop the exams

By NALINEE SEELAL Wednesday, February 12 2014

click on pic to zoom in
FIGHT: Two policemen (one in plainclothes) intervene to break up a fight between two women which broke out along the pavement outside the Port-of-Spai...
FIGHT: Two policemen (one in plainclothes) intervene to break up a fight between two women which broke out along the pavement outside the Port-of-Spai...

TWO Assistant Superintendents (ASP) from Tobago and North Eastern divisions yesterday served Acting Commissioner of Police (CoP) Stephen Williams with an injunction seeking to stop assessment exams for First Division Officers, due to take place next Tuesday. Hearing of the injunction has been fixed for tomorrow.

The injunction seeks to prevent Williams from making use of a Section in law which the courts have ruled is illegal, unreasonable and unfair. Sources revealed that Williams is expected to send the injunction to the Solicitor General’s office for guidance.

Contacted yesterday, Williams told Newsday that several documents were sent to his office, but he was not in receipt of any injunction. He promised to make enquiries to ascertain if the injunction did reach his office

Yesterday, several officers who are set to write the assessment exams called on National Security Minister Gary Griffith, to intervene. Newsday understands the officers were given 10 Standing Orders, before Christmas, and additional documents to learn for the assessment which is set for two weeks before Carnival.

The procedure for promotion in the Police Service for the First Division is under Section 19(5) of the Police Service Regulations, 2007. Officers said yesterday the assessment process used in 2008, was again used in 2011. However, a number of officers were prevented from completing the two stages of assessment because of a cut-off mark being placed, at the first stage.

A source said that a number of experienced officers suffered as a result of the decision to have them not advanced to the second stage of the assessment. The officer further noted there was a miscalculation of vacancies by the Human Resource Branch which resulted in a significantly less number of Superintendents being allowed to advance to the second stage and the effect was no promotion to the rank of Senior Superintendent when vacancies became available through retirement, death and attrition. Officers believe the assessment process could serve to de-motivate officers at a time when all hands are expected to be on deck in the fight against crime and the maintenance of law and order.

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