New Police Commission’s first priority – appoint COP and Deputy

By JULIEN NEAVES Saturday, November 30 2013

NEW COMMISSION: President Anthony Carmona, centre, greets Chairman Ramesh Deosaran during yesterday's installation of new members. From left are: Addison Masefield Khan, Deosaran, President Carmona, Martin George SC, James Armstrong, and Mrs. Roamar Achat-Saney. The new commissioners were sworn in yesterday at the office of the President. Inquiring into the status of the recruitment process for the Commissioner of Police and his Deputy, and changing the process for their appointment is the immediate priority of a now fully constituted Police Service Commission (PSC).

PSC Chairman Professor Ramesh Deosaran yesterday told Newsday following the swearing in of two returning members and two new ones that, “we want an update, very early, from the Director of Personnel Administration (Gloria Edwards-Joseph) as to how far the process has reached.

The commission, he said “cannot do anything until it gets a short-list from the advertising firm on who has to be hired.”

The two returning commissioners sworn in, and receiving their instruments of appointment yesterday by President Anthony Carmona at the Office of the President, St Ann’s were attorneys at law Addison Khan and Martin George. The new members were architect/planner Dr James Armstrong and educator/attorney-at-law Roamar Achat-Saney, both of whose appointments were queried by former head of the Public Service Reginald Dumas.

Asked about the PSC’s priority, Deosaran said the commission, which has not met for the past two months because of a lack of quorum, has a number of outstanding matters and will be meeting within the next two weeks.

The appointment of the commissioner and deputy, he said, “is outstanding for a year now, and I don’t think we are comfortable having Mr (Stephen) Williams acting all the time.”

Criticising the current process involved in the hiring of the two top positions of the police service, Deosaran said, “We also want to see how far we can change this very convoluted, time-wasting and expensive process, because the commission’s hands are tied, and we don’t feel comfortable in that position.”

Khan and George, having served on the commission previously, he said also are very concerned about the process.

In brief remarks, Armstrong who took the oath of office yesterday told Newsday the has had a “long history of serving in various countries internationally. It is always gratifying to know that one can serve in one’s own country. I am certainly looking forward to the opportunity to be of service”.

Looking forward to joining the PSC team and getting down to work, he said, “It is a continuity of providing a service, and sharing the knowledge and experience which I have acquired over the years.”

On the controversy that surrounded his appointment, he said, “I am positive, and I am moving ahead in a positive way.”

Taken from the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

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