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Nothing new from Jack yet—analyst
National Security Minister Jack Warner cannot be given credit for the proposal to build nine new police stations as plans were already in the making. Political scientist Dr Bishnu Ragoonath said yesterday the fact that Warner already had warrants for the stations was an indication plans were already on the drawing board.
Among the stations are expected to be built are Arima, Maloney, Piarco, Cumuto, Brasso, Oropouche, La Brea and Moruga at an expected cost of $290 million. Since assuming office two weeks ago, Warner has received much praise for his hands-on approach in dealing with issues.
Ragoonath, however, said so far Warner had not executed any new ideas of his own but have been merely following up on existing plans left behind by former National Security Minister John Sandy. He said: “You cannot give Warner credit for anything he has done so far because these ideas were already in existence when he took over. So far he hasn’t come up with anything new.”
Ragoonath, however, welcomed the proposal to build new stations, adding a heightened increase in police visibility would lead to a reduction in crime and create public confidence. He said: “I would definitely support that move. There is always the need to build more stations and refurbish the existing ones. “But the idea is contradictory since while we have police stations being closed we are building new ones.”
Welcoming the idea of new stations was president of the Police Service Social and Welfare Association Sgt Anand Ramesar. Ramesar, however, said the locations of the new stations were key in combating criminal elements. Urging that the stations be strategically located, Ramesar added: “This is definitely a good move as it would allow police officers to respond in a more timely fashion. These stations can even transform the ‘hot spot’ areas into recreational spots.”
Ramesar is expected to meet with Warner on Friday. One of the main issues expected to be discussed is the management skills in the Police Service. Ramesar said he intended to recommend to Warner to pay off Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs for the remainder of his three-year contract which will expire next year. The three-year contract of Deputy Police Commissioner Jack Ewatski also ends next year.
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