Last update: 06-Dec-2013 3:55 am
Friday, December 06, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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CoP on police station repairs: No contract given to any gang leader
No contract has been issued for the repairs of any police station in T&T to any gang leader, gang member or any person with a criminal background, acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams said yesterday. He said all the police projects involving repairs to police stations have been given out to reputable contractors.
Williams, however, noted that there has been an award for the construction/refurbishment of a building for a police post at a housing project which has nothing to do with the office of the commissioner. Williams spoke about the issue after statements in the Senate on Wednesday night by PNM Senate leader Penny Beckles, who said gang members get contracts for work and “as we speak, one gang member has a contract to repair a police station.”
Beckles called on National Security Minister Gary Griffith to probe the situation. Following Beckles’ statement, Griffith, who has expressed concerns about state contracts issued to gang members, said such individuals are now on a watch list and will be “blacklisted.” Responding to Beckles’ statements yesterday, Williams said: “I wish to state that the Commissioner of Police is responsible for repairs to all police stations and the issuing of contracts for repairs is done under the authority of the Police Commissioner.
“There has been no contract issued for the repairs to any police station in T&T which would have been given out to any gang leader, any gang members or any person with a criminal background,” he said. “It has been unfair to the office of the commissioner for a story to be published which clearly points to the commissioner being responsible for giving out a contract to a gang member.
“I want to state that in the public domain is the issue of the construction or refurbishment of a building for a police post on Duncan Street. That project has nothing to do with the office of the Commissioner of Police. “That is a project undertaken by the HDC. I don’t know who is the contractor on that project, but what I know is all the police projects involving repairs to police stations have been given out to reputable contractors.”
Contacted yesterday, HDC CEO Jearlean John said the HDC was asked to remodel a police post, which had been done. She said meetings were held with and attended by DCP Mervyn Richardson and his team and the Police Association would have also given input which was taken on board. “But no gang member or gang leader would have been given any contract from the HDC,” John added. Griffith yesterday reiterated that he will be “plugging any artery” via which any state contracts may find its way into gang members’ hands.
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