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Top cop seeks God’s guidance

By JULIEN NEAVES Tuesday, May 20 2014

ACTING Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams in a recent interview said the Police Service has lost its legitimacy to function on behalf of citizens, called on citizens to stop casting blame and start doing their part, and noted he will be soon have to “wrap up” his career in policing.

He was speaking during an interview with President/CEO of the Family-Focus Broadcasting Network and I.S.A.A.C 98.1FM Margaret Elcock and broadcast on her radio station.

On the loss of respect and fear of the Police Service, Williams said this is a problem, partly contributed by police officers themselves. He noted there was the issue of police legitimacy where the public can trust the police to act on their behalf.

“Police have lost its legitimacy of functioning on behalf of the public and that has happened over time. What we have to do is find the way to regain police legitimacy,” he said.

He noted that the “policing for people” approach is to have police engage in a positive way in a consistent manner with citizens to provide the service that the public deserves and expects. He said when this is done on a consistent basis the legitimacy will return.

Questioned how he manages daily Williams said, “I depend heavily on God’s guidance. I pray every day. And it’s important to find a way to call on the almighty to assist you through your work day.”

He said a lot of people tend to focus on others rather than themselves and pass blame all the time “and they generally do not identify what they can do to make a difference to make Trinidad and Tobago a better place”.

“If the citizens all focus on what little they can do to make Trinidad and Tobago a better place (the country) will be a far better place,” he said.

He noted there is a challenge around violent crimes and in 2013 the country recorded the lowest annual total of serious crimes in 29 years, 13,145 which is a low crime rate compared to any global city.

He pointed out, however, that in the context of murders last year there were 30 murders per 100,000 citizens which is extremely high globally, and this creates a distortion about the crime rate.

“So the issue really is how can we find a way of driving the violent crimes down,” he said.He noted most of these murders were committed with firearms which are not manufactured in this country but illegally imported. He stressed it is critical for this country to secure its borders and both legal and illegal ports. He said this goes beyond the police service but extends to all agencies which have a role.

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