Four battle Griffith for CoP post

Several top officers in the Police Service (TTPS) are seeking the post of Commissioner of Police along with incumbent Gary Griffith.

Yesterday was the deadline set by the Police Service Commission (PSC) for applications for the post of commissioner.

The PSC’s order for selection of a CoP and deputy CoP was issued June 17. Advertisement for the post of commissioner was released recently.

Griffith’s three- year contracted term ends August 17.

Applicants include Anti-Corruption Investigative Bureau Senior Superintendent Andre Norton, acting Senior Superintendent Anand Ramesar, Superintendent Andrew John and acting Sergeant Neil Narine.

Ramesar unsuccessfully contested the CoP post in 2018 when Griffith– then without police experience– beat him and 12 other stellar contenders in almost every category.

Several candidates from the 2018 process are now either overseas, retired or past retirement age– and one is before the courts.

Several told Guardian Media Ltd they weren’t reapplying.

Griffith, who submitted his application last week, said, “The post doesn’t belong to me It’s the right of anyone who has appropriate qualifications to apply if they believe they can do the job. I welcome the fact others would apply. It shows ambition. Additionally I don’t like to win by default–the more apply, better yet.”

“’Others could act as though it’s a political campaign and try to lobby via claims about support they have of invisible people. I don’t intend going down that road,’’ he said.

Norton, John and Narine all applied for the Deputy Commissioner’s post in 2020. That was obtained by Mc Donald Jacob.

Norton, who has 36 year’s service, headed the Police Academy (2019-2020). Applying for the CoP post for the first time, he was nominated for deputy commissioner in 2017 as well as the 2020/21 process.

Norton holds a Masters Degree in applied criminology and police management from Cambridge University, a Masters in Information Systems Management and Bachelors Degree in computing science.

He copped the 2018 price at the annual meeting of Caricom commissioners and wrote a book on non-domestic solved and unsolved T&T homicides.

Norton, who worked with police agencies globally, co-authored with American criminologist professor Lawrence Sherman a paper on 2014 hotspot policing in T&T . He is working on a PHD on citizens’ perception of police legitimacy in T&T and impact of procedural justice.

Superintendents, acting sergeants apply to be Top CoP

Ramesar, an attorney has 21 year’s service across various areas in the Police Service and is past president of the Police Social and Welfare Association. He holds a Master’s Degree in criminology and criminal justice.

Ramesar said,“The current selection criteria provides the opportunity for eligible nationals to apply. It’s significant no one can claim a right to the office but must submit themselves to the selection process, which at every juncture provides the PSC with the opportunity to choose the best.

Like Norton, he said, “If I’m to recommend future changes to the process it would be having open debate involving the applicants.”

“This is an opportunity for leadership that can create a culture that brings an alignment of moral and ethical values whilst building an ecosystem that fosters creativity and innovation.

“I’ve done qualitative and quantitative research on the culture and behaviour of police officers which have influenced my resolve to seek leadership in the organization and strengthen it through quality assurance methodologies, transparency and accountability practices and improved benchmarking of performance and output.’’

Superintendent John, who served 33 years is attached to the Complaints Division.

He applied for the Commissioner’s post in 2018 but wasn’t short listed. He has served all over T&T– South West to North East– and spanned all operations between investigative and administrative processes.

Acting. Sgt Narine (Eastern Division) said Ramesar inspired his decision to apply. With 23 years TTPS service.

He’s a former Defence Force member, holding a Masters Degree in Business administration and accounting degree.

He said, “We need more senior officers involved in policing. I’d also focus on changing promotions systems, motivating officers and increasing salaries.’’


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