President of the Police Social and Welfare Association Inspector Michael Seales has applauded the announcement that KPMG Trinidad and Tobago has been awarded a contract to assist with the recruitment and selection process of a Commissioner of Police and added that a substantive commissioner will improve morale in the Police Service.
Seales was reacting to a release by the Police Service Commission (PSC) on Friday which stated the company, part of a global network of professional firms providing audit, tax and advisory services, had been awarded the contract and they had moved a step closer in their task to recruit and select a Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioners of Police.
Seales yesterday said the PSWA was one step closer to getting leadership installed based on a selection process. He noted that for almost five years they have had acting appointments of commissioner and deputy commissioners. Acting Commissioner of Police Williams has been acting as Police Commissioner since 2012, when the last substantive police commissioner Canadian Dwayne Gibbs resigned together with deputy commissioner Jack Ewatski. Williams has since been receiving six month extensions to this post.
Seales said that it is "not a good position to have leadership whose tenure is not secured. So it's important to install that (Commissioner) and important from a leadership position and a morale position to have (them) installed."
He said the country would have been "hurt" by the acting appointment and while the acting commissioner was leading that was "not good enough".
"It should not have been the case of him acting for so long."
Seales said Williams will now have to apply to be part of the process and it will be decided if he is still the number one choice. He said that it was now a question of the process and selecting the best individual for the post.
He said there is still an option for a national who is foreign-based to be selected as commissioner but he had no particular view on that.
"At the end of the day the association is happy that within the profession that exist in Trinidad and Tobago we do have individuals with the wherewithal to lead the Police Service."
National Security Minister Edmund Dillo, speaking during a telephone interview, said that the minister has no role in the process but he complmented the move by the PSC to make sure the process "takes place as quickly as possible."
"The question of an acting commisioner of police has been around far too long. It touches the very core of the leadership Police Service. I am glad to see the process is taking place and is happening and I hope it will be completed as quickly as possible.”