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Ramesar thanks Gibbs, Ewatski for effort
President of the Police Service Social and Welfare Association Sgt Anand Ramesar has thanked Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs and Deputy Police Commissioner Jack Ewatski for their effort at improving the Police Service. In the same breath, however, Ramesar has welcomed Stephen Williams to the post of acting Police Commissioner, saying Williams has what it takes to run the Police Service.
“I want to thank Mr Gibbs and Mr Ewatski for their effort they contributed to the Police Service. The association really wants to wish them all the best. We will support whoever is placed at the helm but we have not been secretive of the fact that we believe Mr Williams is someone who can best carry the Police Service forward, especially gauging from his track record he created when he acted in that position before,” Ramesar said.
Saying he hoped for a smooth transition, Ramesar said the association would also be monitoring Williams’ performance. Williams also served as president of the same association between 1998 to 2001. Ramesar also assured “the people of Trinidad and Tobago that the Police Service and its membership are not affected by what has happened.”
The resignations of Gibbs and Ewatski were announced by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Monday night. Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley has described the Government as being dysfunctional. “With each passing day the criminals get the upper hand because the Government is incompetent...they have failed to deliver on making the country more secure.
“We await the new appointments and we wish them all well,” Rowley said. He has also accused the Government of talking tough and achieving nothing. There has also been speculation that the resignations of Gibbs and Ewatski were mandated by Cabinet.
Rowley, who has questioned the independence of the CoP, said, “It is clear that the Police Service Commission is a bystander in this matter and therefore it is the executive, the Cabinet or the minister, who has initiated and brought this about. “We will get answers down the road and I am sure that Mr Gibbs and Mr Ewatski didn’t just walk away from their jobs and hand in their papers. I am sure they were enticed by significant inducements to hand in their contracts and we would have to find out who initiated that, how much they were paid to go and who directed the process.”
Dwayne Gibbs’ tenure 2010-2012
• Canadian Dwayne Gibbs appointed Commissioner of Police
• Gibbs launched the 21st-century policing initiative, which involved the closure of police stations, the establishment of police posts and higher police visibility on the streets
• Police Service Commission (PSC) chairman Prof Ramesh Deosaran promised to review the performance of Gibbs
• One year after appointment, the promised assessment of Gibbs by Deosaran had not taken place. Deosaran said a state of emergency (SoE) was in effect
• Keith Rowley said the SoE was a failure and only served to lock up the entire country
• Rowley called for the resignation or firing of Gibbs, saying the CoP has outlived his usefulness. Rowley also criticised Gibbs for backing claims of a plot to assassinate the Prime Minister shortly before the SoE.
• Police Second Division Association president Anand Ramesar, who had initially supported Gibbs, said the 21st-century policing Initiative was not working. He said police posts were detrimental to community building. He said it was only a cosmetic attack on crime and charged that Gibbs was not tackling the real issues. Ramesar branded Gibbs a failure
• Deosaran told a Joint Select Committee (JSC) of Parliament that he told the CoP he has to meet certain conditionalities or action would be taken against him
• Deosaran told the JSC that Gibbs’ performance was less than satisfactory and terribly lacking. He said he told Gibbs he was close to the brink of breaching his contract
• Deosaran said Gibbs received a fair grade, the lowest, on his first performance appraisal
• Gibbs refused to sign the appraisal and hired attorney Dana Seetahal SC to challenge it.
• The Opposition and the business community declared that Gibbs has failed to identify the root causes of crime. This, after Gibbs stated that murders are on the increase but said this was not a result of the end of the SoE. Gibbs, in addition to the National Security Minister and the Prime Minister, must be held accountable, they said
• Jack Warner appointed National Security Minister and was accused by Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley of terrorising Gibbs and treating him like a little boy
• Warner has openly stated his disapproval of several aspects of the 21st-century policing initiative, in particular the closure of police stations
• Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar last Monday announced the resignations of Gibbs and Deputy Commissioner of Police Jack Ewatski, effective August 7, after two years in office
• There has been a dramatic increase in homicides in recent months
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