President of the Police Service Social and Welfare Association Inspector Anand Ramesar will be applying for the post of police commissioner.
Ramesar, in an interview yesterday, welcomed the new process for the appointment of a police commissioner and deputy commissioner but maintained the process must be transparent and in keeping with international best practices.
Under the new process the Police Service Commission would have to contract a local firm under the Central Tenders Board Act to conduct the recruitment process, which includes inviting applications for the posts.
This is according to the Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner (Selection Process) Order 2015, which was tabled in Parliament on Monday by National Security Minister Edmund Dillon.
Ramesar said the process was recently raised at the association’s central committee and general council meetings. He said the membership was in support of the Government’s decision to secure a local firm to carry out the selection process.
“We also support the decision of the Government in relation to limiting the candidates to be a national of T&T.
“We will be watching very closely to ensure the selection is not being carried out by a fly-by-night organisation or an organisation for all intents and purposes would appear to have been set up over the last couple of months then we see its services are being secured to carry out the selection,” Ramesar said.
He urged that the firm carrying out the process must be experienced and have a strong reputation and backed by appropriate professionals to carry out the task, adding that anything short of that would raise serious concerns for the Police Service.
On the vast difference with the new proposal, Ramesar said the issue relating to the reduction of years was an initiative welcomed by the association, adding that this paved the way for more members to apply.
“In our membership there are persons who are very competent to apply and be selected for the position of commissioner of police not withstanding they may be young in their service in that they are in the junior rank.
“The lowering of the experience requirement opens the doors for second division officers to apply. There are many police officers in the second division who outclass a lot of the senior officers by way of qualification and operational competence,” Ramesar added.
He said at the last selection process while he was qualified academically he was not qualified by way of tenure.
On acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams’ possibly receiving a seventh extension Ramesar said a caretaker for the organisation was needed until a commissioner was appointed.
“For all intent and purposes he (Williams) is a caretaker for the organisation and whatever decision is taken... whether he is given an extension or not... it falls within the remit of the commission and the commission ought to be guided by performance and if performance is measured and a decision is taken in that context the association will support it,” Ramesar added.
What Ramesar brings
An officer with 16 years’ service Ramesar expressed confidence that his application would be favourable.
On what he will bring to the table that was different from Williams he said: “I am in touch with every member of the Police Service.
“I have been the president of the association for the past six years. I understand the challenges as far as performance is concerned. I understand what the organisation needs both from an HR perspective, from an operational perspective and an administrative perspective.
“I am also able to identify the persons in the organisation who can function competently in specific areas. I am able to bring a bigger cohesion between the first and second division and will bring a greater fusion between technology and human resource,” Ramesar added.
He added that over the past six years he had also gained a wealth of experience through international exposure.
The Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner (Selection Process) Order 2015 says the firm shall submit a shortlist of suitable candidates for consideration.
Under the law the Parliament will seek to approve or reject the nominees.
The Appointment of a Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner (Qualification and Selection Criteria) Order 2015 was also laid by Dillon.
That order says the nominees must be nationals of T&T and have a degree from a recognised university in the field of law, criminal justice, criminology, police service management or other relevant degree.
It says the candidate for CoP must have at least 15 years service of increasing responsibility in law enforcement and the candidates for deputy commissioner must have ten years service in the same area.
The Parliament will subsequently have to approve the nominees and the appointments made by the President.