Wednesday 8 July, 2020

T&T’s next Top Cop: 5 things to know about the selection process

Who will be Trinidad and Tobago’s next Top Cop?

With the escalating crime situation, the country is eager to find out who will be the next substantive Commissioner of Police.

Parliament has already rejected three candidates: Deodat Dulalchan, Harold Phillip and Stephen Williams.

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley has repeatedly described the process used by the Police Service Commission (PSC) to select a Commissioner of Police as ‘flawed’ and has said the process must go back to the PSC. However, according to media reports, Former National Security Minister Gary Griffith is believed to be Government’s pick for the post.

Speaking during the debate on a motion to approve the notification of nomination of Stephen Williams as Commissioner of Police in Parliament last Friday, Rowley hinted that there might be names on the merit list that may find favour with the government.

But, what exactly does the process of selecting a Commissioner of Police entail?

Here’s the process explained in 5 simple steps.

1) The responsibility for the appointment of a Commissioner of Police lies exclusively with the Police Service Commission (PSC). The PSC is empowered to appoint the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners of Police through a selective process determined by Parliament. The Commission is an independent body, which consists of a chairman and four other members, appointed by the President after consultation with the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition.

2) With respect to the substantive appointment to the offices of the Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner of Police, candidates must first go through a rigorous assessment process conducted by a firm experienced in conducting the assessment of senior police managers. Candidates must be a national of Trinidad and Tobago.

3) The name of the highest graded candidate is then submitted by the PSC to the President who then forwards that name to the Parliament. This is done as the candidate must first be approved by the Parliament, before an appointment can be made by the PSC to either the office of Commissioner of Police or Deputy Commissioner of Police.

4) Where the House of Representatives does not approve of the highest graded candidate on the Order of Merit List, subsequent nominations in order of merit may be submitted to the House of Representatives from the Order of Merit List.

5) Where the Order of Merit List is exhausted, the process shall be recommenced.



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