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Monday 20 May 2019
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PM: New CoP by next month

PM Dr Keith Rowley 
Photo by Azlan Mohammed
PM Dr Keith Rowley Photo by Azlan Mohammed

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley promised a new Commissioner of Police (CoP) by Independence Day, August 31, as he addressed the General Council of the People’s National Movement (PNM) at Balisier House, Port of Spain, on Saturday.

The promise is in stark contrast to the huge gulf between the Government and Opposition in the Lower House where the former were content to reject the nominees for the post so far on the grounds of the selection process being flawed, but with the PM now possibly indicating a change of heart.

Last Friday, he told the House, TT needs “an intervention of change” to get an upper hand on crime. The Police Service Commission (PSC) compiled a merit list which nominees are individually sent in top-ranked order to the President of the Republic to forward to the House for debate.

So far, the House has debated, and rejected, three nominees respectively Deodat Dulalchan, Harold Phillip and acting CoP Stephen Williams.

Yesterday, a senior source said Government is bound by existing law, under which the CoP merit list will last as valid for one year. The source said the Government will obey the law by continuing to go down the merit list considering name by name.

Asked what the country could expect, the source said, “There is a process and I assume the process is taking place. What I’d expect next is the PSC would be notified that the last person sent forth on the order of merit list was not accepted by Parliament and then they would have to send forward the next person on the merit list to the President who will then send it to Parliament, and Parliament will then convene to deal with it.”

The source opted not to deny nor confirm media speculation that the Government favours former minister of national security Gary Griffith to be CoP.

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