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‘Foreign top cop not ideal’


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PORT-OF-SPAIN – National Security Minister Brigadier John Sandy said on Sunday that he would like to see a local taking over the Commissioner of Police (CoP) post.“I personally would like to see a local commissioner. I don’t think that any police officer, from constable, would not want to sit in that chair,” Sandy told members of the media at the launch of the nationwide Clean Up And Beautify Trinidad And Tobago programme at 17 Street D, Beetham Gardens, Laventille.When asked about the level of crime and its increase under a local CoP, Sandy asked “what guarantee” there was that a foreign CoP would reduce crime.“What we want to do is to diminish crime in Trinidad and Tobago. Whatever we need to do to achieve that we are going to do it,” Sandy said.He added: “Most people, no matter what profession they are in, look at ascendancy. If that is tarnished in any way it could affect the individual who wants to reach the top, it’s a natural thing. A foreign CoP could demoralise the police officers.”When asked about the process of selecting a CoP and whether or not it should be changed, Sandy said he had asked about it and was told by attorneys that it would take more than a year to change legislation. Sandy added that “one ministry did not do their homework”, when asked his views on the names of two candidates vying for CoP being part of the selecting process undertaken by the Justice and Safety Institute (JASI) of the Pennsylvania State University. Sandy said one idea being considered, both to address the issue of the selection process and the acceptance of a foreign CoP, was to remove the open invitation currently in place and replace it with an invitation for nationals of T&T who may be living abroad. Addressing the extension of the contract of acting Commissioner of Police James Philbert, Sandy said he “doubted very much” Philbert would be given another extension. (Trinidad Express)

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