T&T lawmen: Top Cop is toothless bulldog

(Trinidad Guardian) Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs is a “toothless bulldog” who is only concerned about uplifting his image. That was the charge yesterday by president of the Police Service Social and Welfare Association, Sgt Anand Ramesar, who also accused the top cop of being a poor manager. He spoke during an interview at his office at Besson Street Police Station, Port-of-Spain. Ramesar, who described the morale of the Police Service as being at an “all-time low,” added: “I don’t think the morale can get lower than it is right now.”

Deputy Police Commissioner, Jack Ewatski, also was attacked by the association which labelled him as a non-performer. Ramesar said: “My conclusion is that these two officers are more concerned about their own image more than the welfare of our police officers. “So they respond to particular issues if it suits their particular position and not for the membership.” Gibbs and Ewatski, both Canadians, took up office on September 20, last year. Apart from poor management Ramesar identified insufficient compensation and a lagging promotion process as the chronic issues plaguing the Police Service. Saying  officers were fed up and frustrated, Ramesar warned that “any day now” they could decide to embark on a five-day sickout plan.

He said: “The strike remains a concern because the membership is bent on engaging in that particular exercise.

“I am concerned that the commissioner and the stakeholders in the National Security Ministry have not tried to deal with this in the early stages. “It spells disaster because it appears to coincide with what the labour movement is planning. If that happens I will not like to see that state of affairs existing in the country,” Ramesar added. In the area of promotion, Ramesar said there were some 500 constables waiting to be promoted to corporals. He said: “Among them are officers with eight years experience and some have as much as 20 years experience.

“These persons are eligible to be promoted and there are vacancies that exist but the commissioner has fallen into the same routine of previous commissioners of which police officers always would have complained,” Ramesar added. He reiterated that the issue of promotion was not being addressed by Gibbs, resulting in an avalanche of complaints by officers. He said: “What this commissioner is not recognising is that promotion is directly connected to morale. “It also improves the energy and input from these officers.

“Mr Gibbs is appearing to be very deaf to this particular need with his officers and the association is very concerned about this reaction on his part and he needs to provide an answer to our officers,” Ramesar added.

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