Auldric Neptune has spent most of his career in the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service. He has opted for early retirement this year; however, this does not mark the end of his civic service. It’s more of a repositioning as he will be joining his twin brother in a new capacity as an attorney at Neptune & Neptune Chambers. In line with his mindset of giving back, after several years in varying roles while serving on the board of directors of the Police Credit Union (PCU), Neptune answered the call to serve as president in April of this year.
Neptune first joined the Police Service (and the PCU by extension) in 1989, shortly after his twin brother did the same the year before. He recalled, “In terms of the experience, it’s a very rewarding one like no other. He jumped in the deep end as he was stationed at Besson Street (Police Station) for the period in the aftermath of the coup in 1990.
“When everyone else had the chance to escape from the city, the Police Service had to run towards it during that period of our history he recalled”. However, it’s provided me with a platform that’s helped me learn and grow.” Now at the substantive level of inspector, he pointed out that his time in the service took him across many of the specialised sections including CID, Crime Suppression Unit, Homicide Bureau of Investigations and Anti Corruption Investigations Bureau. In true twin patterning, he followed the lead of his brother once again in pursuing legal studies and was called to the Bar in April 2012 and after giving almost 30 years of service to the TTPS he has decided to transition to another phase in his life.
His recent election to the role of the president of the board comes at a crucial time for the credit union as it will soon engage on significant capital expenditure, to create a new home and headquarters for the PCU on the Eastern Main Road, San Juan.
“Notwithstanding the many responsibilities and fiduciary duties that being a member of the board entails, we are keenly aware that this is a significant move for the organisation. We have already moved from our brand focus being the Police Service Credit Union to the PCU as we are an open-bond credit union and no longer serving just members of the police service. We are continuing in that responsibility to move the organisation forward with 62 years of steady growth to our name.”
He further pointed out, “The PCU has come a long way – from humble beginnings in a small space under the steps at the old Police Headquarters Building to be on the verge of constructing a technologically-advanced and ‘green’ building where we can continue to grow and welcome a new era of members. However, we do so mindful of the trust placed in us by our members; as a cooperative society we are executing on these expansion plans with their approval and their capital as well.”
The building, which is expected to break ground in the coming weeks, should be 40 percent complete by the end of Neptune’s one-year term as president. He elaborated, “I can safely say, with this new board in place, we have a team of people that place the well-being of the PCU at the centre of all decisions. They have the right mix of experience in varying capacities, and we need those levels of insight and input now more than ever.
“Surely from the place where we began coupled with the misplaced perception that police officers lacked business acumen, it is evident that as an organisation we have ‘ticked’ more ‘right boxes’ than wrong ones. This also speaks to the excellent stewardship of all the previous presidents and members of the various management teams of the credit union.
With an asset base in excess of $800m, the newly elected president notes that the PCU has set to maintain four per cent growth over a five-year period. Due to economic trends, there was a slower return than planned in the past year. “We, therefore, have an even more ambitious objective, to double on the planned growth in this one year ahead to stay on target – but I know we can achieve it.”
Neptune’s steadfast commitment to the task at hand no doubt comes from his training in the protective services, but also by way of values instilled in him by his family upbringing. The role of his eldest brother (a soldier, now deceased) who was also a father figure to him and the rest of his siblings, the motivation and leadership of his twin brother and most importantly, his mother who effectively raised him and his siblings in a single parent environment.
“I like to think that my mother debunked many of the stereotypes we hear about when it comes to single parent homes. While we had a tough time, the six of us did quite well,” he observed. “All that we are is and was because of our mother and without a doubt, God looking over and blessing us.”
Where his family strengthened his values, his love for football, something he shares with his brothers and particularly one of his sisters, developed his sportsmanship.
“I’m an avid sports fan and last year together with a team from Trinidad and Tobago, participated in the World Football Cup for Lawyers which was held in Spain. We didn’t do too badly as a small nation – defeating one of Argentina’s teams in one game and placing 22nd out of approximately 40 teams I believe,” he highlighted.
“Sport has also taught me the value of the team as a unit. It’s the strength of working together that creates and builds capacity. It’s not about you as a person but what you bring as a person to the team. So you have to be sure that your objectives align with that of the team,” he added.
In that regard, he is also keenly aware that his role as president extends far beyond the updating of the brand’s position or even in building a flagship headquarters.
“That family dynamic that this credit union was born out of where the owners and the staff are the members is something I take seriously. I’m not an ostrich, to bury my head in the sand and not realise that we have to arrive at a place where we motivate and empower our people as best as we can. We are taking active steps towards that, and we are actively listening to our staff and members as well, and acting upon that feedback and advice too.
“That is what will ultimately set us apart as an organisation and as a financial institution.”