The CoP and members of his executive yesterday hosted 1,500 police officers from the rank of Constable to Assistant Commissioner in a private function at the National Academy for Performing Arts (NAPA), Port-of-Spain where he announced several changes for the Police Service. The theme for the conference was “Agenda for Change”.
Up to yesterday the murder toll stood at 28, which Gibbs pointed out is unacceptable.
He said arrangements have been put in place to have homicide officers of the Police Service work closely with those officers from the Special Anti-Crime Unit of Trinidad (SAUTT), who were given key training on solving homicides by British officers contracted under the last administration to assist in solving murders.
During the last administration a decision was taken by then Minister of National Security Martin Joseph for all gang-related homicides to be investigated by SAUTT. Despite this move the detection rate in solving gang-related murders proved to be unsatisfactory.
It is hoped that with the merging of the Homicide Bureau with the homicide unit of SAUTT, the detection rate will improve significantly.
Gibbs did not disclose when this new move will take place.
Apart from announcing his anti-crime initiatives, Gibbs said a pilot project is to be established in the Western Division where officers will be required to work four consecutive 12-hour shifts, and then be off-duty for the next four days. If this works out well, then it will be introduced in other divisions. Newsday also understands a unit whose officers will be the first responders to reports of crime will be set up in the Western Division. A police community unit will also be created so officers can interact more closely with persons living in the division.
Also addressing yesterday’s meeting were Deputy Commissioner Jack Ewatski and Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Raymond Craig. A report was also presented by the unit responsible for collecting crime statistics in Trinidad and Tobago.