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ACP writes to PSC on deputy top cop omission

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Jada Loutoo File photo: Police Service Commission (PSC) chairman, retired Justice Judith Jones.
File photo: Police Service Commission (PSC) chairman, retired Justice Judith Jones.

AN assistant commissioner of police wants to know why his name was omitted from the list the Police Service Commission (PSC) submitted to the President for nomination to act as a deputy commissioner.

Attorneys for ACP Glen Dillon, who has over 40 years of service and who says he is the most senior officer of all seven ACPs, wrote to PSC chairman retired Justice Judith Jones last week asking for reasons for the commission’s decision to omit his name.

Dillon is represented by attorneys Michael Rooplal, Saira Lakhan, Kristy Mohan and Jamie Amanda Maharaj.

Maharaj, who wrote the request, said Dillon submitted his application for consideration for the acting post on September 26, in keeping with the selection process set out by the PSC for an appointment to the rank of DCP.

She said he learned his name has been omitted after he received a copy of the order paper for the House of Representatives and saw the PSC had submitted two nominees to the President, both of whom, he said, were junior to him. Maharaj further noted that one of the two nominees did not even hold the substantive position of ACP, but was acting in that post.

The letter said the President notified the Lower House on June 24 and November 16 for these two officers to act as DCPs, and last Friday, motions were laid for affirmative resolution of the two names.

“In the absence of any stated reason(s) and/or justification, it appears that our client has been bypassed by the commission, for the acting appointment in the rank of DCP.

“It is also apparent that officers junior to our client have been nominated by the commission for the said acting appointment,” the letter said.

Maharaj asked the PSC chairman for a statement of reasons for the decision not to submit Dillon’s name to the President.

Dillion’s attorneys gave the PSC until December 22 to supply the statement.

Just last week, the president of the police Social and Welfare Association, acting ASP Gideon Dickson, called on the PSC to fill the two vacant DCP posts.

He also asked for the process to be streamlined.

On Monday, in a media release, the PSC said it was awaiting official notification from Parliament to appoint two people as acting DCPs.

At present, there are two acting DCPs – Erla Christopher and Wendell Williams – assisting acting Commissioner of Police McDonald Jacob to lead the police service.

In its media release, the PSC said notifications for ACP Ramnarine Samaroo, a former head of the Professional Standards Bureau, and acting ACP Curt Simon were itemised on the order paper for debate last Friday, but the sitting was adjourned to December 2.

“Upon receipt of official notification from Parliament of any approvals the commission will immediately appoint the officers to act as DCP.”

The commission also said it recognised the concerns expressed by stakeholders and shared them.

It said it was also aware of the "critical need" to fill these offices, which "provide the necessary strategic managerial support" to the CoP.

It added that it was especially "cognisant of the impact these offices have on all aspects of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and by extension the nation.”

The commission said it was critical to note that the procedure for making acting appointments to the offices of commissioner and deputy commissioner had changed after the legal challenge last year involving the acting appointment of ex-commissioner Gary Griffith.

“Accordingly, the responsibility of the Police Service Commission is to consider and create an order-of-merit list with respect to those who satisfy the legal requirements to fill the office and present such list to the President for nomination to the House of Representatives."

It reminded the public that it appoints officers only after the House of Representatives approves their appointments.