After spending his maximum three terms on the executive, president of the Police Social Welfare Association (PSWA), Insp Michael Seales is getting ready to leave and give a new generation of officers a chance to lead the association.
Speaking with Newsday on Monday, Seales confirmed that he will not be returning as president and said he has prepared members of the Police Empowerment Party to lead the association in the event of their re-election.
Seales, who served as general secretary and vice president for two terms and as president for his last term, says he was impressed by the performance of the association in raising funds for members affected by last year’s flooding in Greenvale and Oropune, and was heartened to know his leadership made a difference.
Asked what advice he had for his successor, he urged them to make the necessary sacrifices in their own personal lives to improve the lives of officers and make the police service better for everyone.
“It’s a long road, and you have to be as wise as possible, because we are always negotiating with our biggest stakeholder, the government, so you as a leader must now call on your officers to do better.
‘’I think they must follow through with their goals in order to service the police service in the long run. They may even have to look into themselves in terms of the sacrifices they have to make, they need to know what they’re signing up for and that sometimes requires you to make personal sacrifices. But it is worth it in the end.”
Seales says his protege Insp Sean Clarke, from the Police Training Academy, will be going up for the position of president against acting Insp Gideon Dickson of the Child Protection Unit.
Newsday spoke to Dickson, the representative for the Police Representing Interests of Members’ Equity (PRIME), who said he felt that issues of salaries and promotions had assumed greater focus in the association, and, if elected, intended to place more emphasis on members’ health and welfare.
“I’m not here to sell any grand dreams, because people would have bought dreams in the past, and right now a lot of them are disgruntled,” he said. “We offer ourselves as the prime agents of change. We believe we can do better than what was given and we will do better once given the opportunity.”
For his part, Clarke said he recognised the contributions made by Seales and was prepared to bring the association into the 21st century by using digital platforms and social media to attract new members. He said among his priorities would be resettlement of the PSWA to Carapichaima.
The elections for the new executive are expected to be held on June 24 at police stations and divisional headquarters throughout TT as well as mobile polling stations.