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Tobagonian tipped for top cop post

By Nalinee Seelal Friday, January 15 2016

ACTING Commissioner of Police (CoP) Stephen Williams is expected to proceed on 25 months vacation leave, effective March 1. Sources revealed steps are afoot to have Williams proceed on leave much earlier than March 1, with Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Harold Phillip set to act as Commissioner, pending the appointment of a new, full time CoP, under new legislation.

Newsday also understands that Tobago-born Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Vincel Edwards who has over 30 years service and is currently in charge of the Homicide Bureau is being tipped to be this country’s new Commissioner of Police. Edwards previously served at Port-of-Spain CID, Fraud Squad and other arms of the TT Police Service. Contacted for comment yesterday, ACP Edwards laughed loudly and then told Newsday he could not speak as he was in a meeting.

Edwards was detailed last year to lead investigations into the conduct of police officers involved in the ‘total policing’ fiasco which saw motorists being stranded in miles of traffic for hours due to road block exercises throughout the country.

In his report, Edwards coined the term “malicious disobedience” against some officers who took part in the day of ‘total policing’, but added the action was not linked to salary negotiations with the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO).

Edwards was also detailed last year to investigate the murders of British lawyer Richard Wheeler and his Trinidadian wife Grace.

He led a team of officers last October in that probe which saw three persons being detained mere days after the horrific killings in Tobago which made international headlines. Two men were later charged for the murders and the matter is still before the courts.

OTHERS INTERESTED Newsday understands that several other officers are expected to apply for the post of CoP. Other officers, sources said, include Snr Supt Glen Hackshaw, Inspectors Wendell Lucas, Richard Taylor, President of the Police Social Welfare Association Anand Ramesar and Association Secretary Michael Seales and others.

Sources also revealed that the Acting Commissioner reportedly applied to the PNM government for his vacation leave to be bought out, but this was refused. Government has stated it is not interested in buyiing out the leave of any officer or Permanent Secretaries.

Yesterday, Insp Ramesar confirmed he will be applying for the position of CoP.

Ramesar has a Masters degree in criminology and criminal justice from the University of the West Indies and is also an attorney. He is also pursuing studies in Human Resource management.

“There is a rumour that the person to be Commissioner of Police may have already been selected,” Ramesar said, adding that an organisation such as the TTPS should not be compromised by such rumours “The TT Police Service will continue to do its best and stand for what is right, both externally and internally. Should it be the case that Edwards or any other police officer is selected from a process that demonstrates reliability and integrity, then the PSWA and its membership will support the selection 100 percent. Should it be otherwise, then support will be an issue,” Ramesar said.



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