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Review recruitment process
It has been a bad few days for the T&T Police Service (TTPS), an entity already plagued by low morale, loss of public confidence and reports of indiscipline among the ranks.
It could well be that one of the contributing factors to the current problems might be recruitment and training methods that are outdated. The focus now should be on reform, with emphasis on building a law enforcement entity that easily adapts to the changing values and practices.
Based on what transpired recently with the failed attempt to select a new Commissioner of Police, it seems that recruiting, selecting and retaining the right personnel is a big challenge for the TTPS. There is definitely a leadership vacuum and recent retirements at the executive level, along with other turnover causes, underscore the need for organisational strengthening. Merely appointing a full-time a Police Commissioner isn’t the solution.
Recent incidents underscore the need for hiring and retaining sworn police officers with skillsets geared toward 21st-century law enforcement.
Reforming the TTPS may require support from international agencies that can help in the development of a stronger, more effective TTPS.
Plug port leaks
Taking away from the good news that five suspects have been held and a record $35 million in cocaine seized at the Piarco International Airport, is the reality of the large amounts of illegal items that are still slipping in and out through ports of entry.
Installation of scanners at the Port of Point Lisas, soon to be followed by activation of the ones that have been left unused by the Port of Port-of-Spain, are only small signs of progress in the increasingly challenging battle to secure the country’s borders.
The problem is that the borders are still very porous and surveillance is not adequate at all of the critical points.
Given T&T’s geographic location along known drugs and arms trafficking routes, urgent action must be taken to stop illicit shipments by air and sea.
Our stories in pictures
The recently launched exhibition, Through My Lens—From Trinidad and Tobago to Me, provides compelling glimpses into various aspects of local life. The display, curated by the National Museum, features the work of amateur and professional photographers and is worth a visit.
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