PM: ‘Flying Squad’ up to Jack
Wednesday, June 27 2012
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar is leaving it up to National Security Minister Jack Warner to decide on bringing back an elite policing unit, fashioned after the infamous Flying Squad of the 1980s.
“It is a proposal he has put out,” Persad-Bissessar said yesterday at Hilton Trinidad, St Ann’s when questioned by reporters.
On Monday, Warner spoke of reintroducing a unit, like the Flying Squad which was a team of police officers hand-picked by late Commissioner of Police Randolph Burroughs, and led by him, in the hunt for criminals.
However, the Flying Squad was also spoken of in the public domain as a State-sanctioned death squad.
Warner said there were “good elements” of the Flying Squad which could be adopted.
Asked her views on Warner’s suggestion, Persad-Bissessar said, “I’m sure he will meet with his heads of divisions of his ministry, and they will consider it before any final decision is made.”
On whether Warner will bring back to the public the issue of the death penalty, Persad-Bissessar said, “It would be a matter for Cabinet. We have not discussed it recently.”
After her Cabinet reshuffle, which saw her reassigning Warner from the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure to National Security, Persad-Bissessar said she will now focus on the performances of State boards.
“I had asked all ministers to give reports of all the boards under their portfolios. Based on those reports,” she said, “we would now be prepared to say which boards are to be reconfigured.”
Boards that are due to expire within a two-year period, she said, would be a priority in the reconfiguration scheme.
Some of the boards, she noted, have been functioning well, and “some are in serious need of reconfiguration. Those will be given priority.” Persad-Bissessar said she wants to place the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) under the Ministry of Finance alongside the national and regional air carrier, Caribbean Airlines Limited (CAL) so they would “be in one place working together for the benefit of the country.”
CAL, she said, was a very important asset of the people of TT, and she believed it was best placed under the Finance Ministry. CAL and its Air Jamaica subsidiary posted hundreds of millions of dollars in losses last year.
Asked if the CAL board is to be reconfigured, she said, “We have not made any decision on the board.”