Parliament debates new CoP pick today

Police Commissioner Erla Harewood-Christopher
Police Commissioner Erla Harewood-Christopher

IF PARLIAMENT rejects the Police Service Commission's (PSC) top pick of Erla Christopher, for the post of Police Commissioner, during debate on Friday, the next candidate in line, will be recently retired DCP McDonald Jacob.

Newsday was told Jacob, who acted as CoP for over a year, prior to his retirement last month, was given his official letter earlier this week identifying him as the second best candidate on the PSC's merit list. Third in line to the CoP's chair is Snr Supt Anand Ramesar.

Those who failed to make the list were given a letter by the PSC informing them that their applications were not successful.

One of the unsuccessful candidates, former police commissioner Gary Griffith, earlier this week called on the population to support Christopher, acknowledging that he was not going to be selected and only applied to highlight the political mischief in the selection process. He advised Christopher not to be politically swayed, if selected.

Contacted for comment, retiree Jacob said his advice to Christopher, if she is selected, is to continue with the initiatives he established.

Debate on Friday brings an end to two years of legal and political tussling that saw the first ever attempt to impeach a President.

The selection of a top cop was muddied by allegations of political interference long before Parliament got involved the last time candidates were selected.

A previous board of the PSC, under the leadership of Bliss Seepersad, collapsed after it selected candidates for the post. Seepersad and her team completed their list in August 2021, but it was discarded after the board collapsed and a new PSC, led by retired Appeal Court judge Judith Jones, was appointed in November 2021.

Other candidates who applied:

ACP Andre Norton of the Police Academy

Lt Col Sheldon Ramanan, former chief legal officer of the Defence Force

Jason Francis, senior policy adviser at the UN’s Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean

Acting DCP Curt Simon

Former acting DCP Wendell Williams

Former acting DCP Harrikrishen Baldeo

Snr Supt Suzette Martin, head of the Professional Standards Bureau

Snr Supt Wendell Lucas, head of the Financial Investigations Branch (FIB)

Snr Supt (Tobago) Junior Bernard

Retired ACP Sterling Hackshaw

Supt Natasha George


"Parliament debates new CoP pick today"

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