Reservations about CoP Gibbs
By DENYSE RENNE Monday, June 25 2012
click on pic to zoom in
Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs....
WHEN Jack Warner tomorrow chairs his first meeting with heads of the various agencies within national security, in his capacity as newly appointed National Security Minister, he will do so with “certain reservations” about the stewardship of Commissioner of Police Dwayne Gibbs.
Asked to elaborate more on these “reservations”, while he packed away his personal belongings from his old office in the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Warner said, “As of now, I prefer keep these reservations to myself until I meet with Mr Gibbs.”
Warner, along with other reshuffled ministers will receive their instruments of appointments today, following which, incumbent National Security Minister John Sandy will officially hand over to him.
Tomorrow’s meeting with Gibbs promises to be quite an interesting one as Gibbs has become embroiled in controversy over a letter he sent to the Police Service Commission (PSC) stating that on advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard, no action can be taken in respect to investigations against Warner on alleged wrongdoing following a meeting Warner had in Trinidad with then FIFA executive Mohamed bin Hammam back in May 2011.
The DPP later issued his own statement contradicting Gibbs’ statement that the case against Warner was closed. The DPP stated that investigations should be continued against Warner in the context of the Customs Act.
Both Gibbs’ letter and the DPP’s response engaged the attention of the PSC with PSC chairman Prof Ramesh Deosaran stating that the commission will look into this matter as part of its appraisal of the performance of Gibbs, who is a Canadian hired on contract to lead the Police Service.
Efforts to reach Customs and Excise sources yesterday for an update on the state of investigations into Warner, proved futile.
Speaking to Newsday yesterday, Warner said that one initiative introduced by Gibbs — the 21st Century Police Programme — will be reviewed. This initiative was first piloted in Police Western Division and then Central Division, with roll outs expected in the other Police Divisions throughout the country.
Only last week, Carenage residents voiced their displeasure over the fact that the Carenage Police Station opens between 9 am - 9 pm, saying this and all other police stations should be opened 24 hours, seven days a week.
Asked about this facet of the 21st Century Policing Initiative, Warner referred to it as a paradox.
“Closing police stations when murders are on the increase...that does not make sense to me. There must be change. Two things you do not close, one is a police station and the other is a hospital,” Warner said.
He admitted that the police service continues to take a beating and its image is slowly being eroded. He said citizens need to feel safe wherever they are and that the police service as a first responder, plays a critical role in this.
Warner said divisional meetings between the police and members of various communities will be enhanced as, “citizens need to start feeling safe again.”