Police Service Commission to be reconstituted by late March – President

first_imgAfter promising at a press conference mid-December 2017 to have the Police Service Commission reconstituted before the end of 2017, President David Granger is now saying that the body might be in place by next month.The Head of State told reporters on the sidelines of the Annual Police Officers’ Conference on Thursday that he is currently awaiting the appointment of a Chairman of the Public Service Commission before re-establishing the Police Service Commission.“I had an engagement with the Leader of the Opposition and we’ve settled thePresident David GrangerTeaching Service Commission and the Integrity Commission, and we will move on to the Public Service Commission. Once that is done, I hope as quickly as possible — maybe during February or March — that (Police Service) Commission will be in place,” he indicated.The life of the last Police Service Commission came to an end in September 2017, and the Head of State had told reporters at the December press conference that he was reviewing the names and would make a decision before the year ended, but he never did.Last week, Government’s spokesperson, State Minister Joseph Harmon, told reporters at the post-Cabinet press briefing that both the Police and Public Service Commissions are before the Parliamentary Committee on Appointments.“Once that is completed, it is then sent to the National Assembly, which approves of it, and then it comes to the President for appointment,” he explained.However, there have since been calls for the reconstitution of the Police Service Commission to be fast-tracked, especially since there were no promotions of senior officers last year.Before the life of the Commission had expired back in July 2017, President Granger had ordered that it put the promotion of senior ranks on hold. However, he subsequently justified his decision and, despite a court order stating that the Government had acted unconstitutionally, maintained he had had good cause for stopping the promotions.“Deserving persons were being superseded. One letter writer claimed that there had been no internal procedure for nominating officers. It is the convention that the commissioners would convene a committee of the most senior officers to nominate persons. This had not been done. In addition to that, there were other allegations — which I felt were justified — that the actual selection process was compromised.“So, taken as a whole, I felt that the integrity of the process was compromised, and that it would not be in the public’s interest to proceed with those nominations,” he explained at the December press conference — his first in over two years, and second since taking office in 2015.In November, a High Court, ruling on the halting of promotion of personnel so listed, Chief Justice (acting) Roxanne George established that the President did breach the Constitution when he issued a directive to halt promotions.This move has been reported to have had a demoralising and demotivating effect on Police officers. In fact, Deputy Police Commissioner David Ramnarine, while acting Top Cop, had pointed out last month that the situation had also caused some uneasiness among the junior ranks.“It was important, it was absolutely necessary that these junior ranks be promoted, because there was an air that with the Service Commission and senior ranks not being promoted, some (junior ranks) were beginning to become a little bit stressed that they, too, will not get promoted,” he stated. The Police Force promoted a total of 204 junior ranks at the end of December.However, Ramnarine emphasized on the importance of the Commission, further disclosing that the number of senior ranks within the Force is dwindling, with 13 of them having retired in 2017 and another four of them set to go off on retirement this year.last_img

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