Deputy Commissioner of Police McDonald Jacob said he was "elated" that Parliament had approved his nomination to act as commissioner of police and intends to get right down to work to resolve issues of promotion, transfers and discipline of officers.
In a telephone interview shortly after the government voted 22 in favour of his nomination, Jacob, a career police officer, said it was good that the organisation "at this juncture" will now have an acting commissioner. The 14 opposition members abstained.
His appointment will become effective after he receives his instrument of appointment from the Police Service Commission.
He has been running the service as deputy commissioner since mid-October with some of his powers restricted after the High Court ruled that Parliament had to approve the acting appointment of a CoP.
Jacob said one of the first items on his agenda was to organise the promotion interviews for police officers seeking to move up to the ranks of corporals and sergeants.
He said that process was stalled in October when there was no sitting CoP for the first time in the history of the service.
Jacob said it was a priority to get the right candidates to fill vacancies that have been pending for "a number of years."
"We will try to get that going as soon as possible," he said, as it was one of the paramount factors which affected the motivation of officers.
He said during the period when the police service did not have a substantive of acting CoP, he made sure to award officers from different divisions for their performance "in order to keep that level of stability and motivation" among the ranks.
He said the police association was working together with the executive of the service in that regard and recently donated over $300,000 to be shared among nine police divisions and sections to bring some Christmas cheer to officers.
Jacob said he also intended to move forward to transfer some officers, assign others to act in higher ranks to fill existing vacancies, re-instate others whose disciplinary processes are completed and begin the disciplinary process, including suspension, against others.
He said fortunately in the intervening period there were no many matters of discipline on his desk.
Asked if he intended to apply for the position of CoP when it is advertised, Jacob said he will make that decision when the time comes but noted that he "can do the job."
He offered no comment on the Opposition's decision to abstain from the vote, saying that the members did what they thought was best.
"I don't think they came off (contribution of opposition members) in any negative way."
He said that his teaching stint at Cipriani Labour College was done with the approval of the then CoP and never impacted on his police work.