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Bartlett: 21st-century policing brought dignity to service
President of the San Fernando Business Association Daphne Bartlett has called on the new acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams to continue with the 21st-century policing initiative, pioneered by former Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs. In an interview yesterday, Bartlett said the resignation of Gibbs and his Deputy Commissioner Jack Ewatski were a great loss to the Police Service.
“I am sorry to see them go because their initiative (21st-century policing), which worked well in Canada, brought dignity to the Police Service,” Bartlett said. “Under Gibbs and Ewatski, the level of corruption within the TTPS also declined. “We should not expect that any commissioner could solve crime immediately.
For the past ten years, crime has been increasing. We have been through the phase of kidnapping, robbery and we have had instances of police and army officers getting involved in that. These corrupt officers were charged and prosecuted under Gibbs’ tenure. In our estimation, we feel that Commissioner Gibbs brought down the level of corruption in the service to a point where the general public feels more confident in reporting crimes.”
During the last police community caravan held on Harris Promenade, Bartlett said scores of people were seen lining up to greet and commend Gibbs. “They adored him for what he was doing to transform the TTPS,” Bartlett said. She explained that the narcotics trade must be tackled if the crime wave is to decrease.
“The killings that are taking place in the depressed areas really occur because of the drug trade and fighting for turf. The Government should not think that by changing the guards, crime will subside. It requires societal changes to curb the absence of fathers in the home, lack of maternal love, poor parenting.” She called on Commissioner Williams to follow through with Gibbs’ initiatives.
“I applaud the 21st-century policing because now we see more patrols and faster response. We want to wish the acting commissioner well, as well as to wish Gibbs and Ewatski success in their future endeavours,” Bartlett said. Meanwhile, president of the Penal/Debe Chamber of Commerce Lincoln Ragbirsingh also echoed Bartlett’s comments. He said the resignations would not augur well for the people of T&T.
“No, this is not good. We have to understand that the crime issue cannot be solved overnight. I do not envy the man who will replace Gibbs. It is a difficult job,” Ragbirsingh said. “I am all for the 21st-century policing but I also think that we need new ideas from new people,” Ragbirsingh said.
He said that Gibbs and Ewatski had great ideas but did not have the cooperation from the rest of the TTPS. “They wanted to transform the TTPS but I think the officers were unwilling to co-operate and didn’t give it 100 per cent. If Gibbs and Ewatski got co-operation, we would have been in a better position,” Ragbirsingh said.
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