Another rejection for top cop …”PNM NEVER WANTED WILLIAMS”

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Stephen Williams has seen it all!

The writing is on the wall, so with two years’ leave, he knows it is time to leave the Police Service.

One thing is clear. The PNM does not like him and after a satisfied career, he is ready to ride out.

In 2008 when Williams’ name came up to become Commissioner of Police, then Prime Minister Patrick Manning rejected him.

Ten years later, another PNM Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley, has rejected him.

What has Williams done to be rejected twice in ten years?

But he was good enough to act for 13 six-month stints from 2012 to the present.

Government says it has no horse in the race to the vacant position of Commissioner of Police.

But their dark horse is Gary Griffith, which ttwhistleblower revealed last week was Government’s choice.

Griffith was a Sandhurst-trained soldier reaching the rank of Captain.

He was a former security adviser to the former Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar. He became Minister of National Security in 2013.

In 2015, he was fired from the position because he got involved in a court bacchanal involving PCA Director David West and Rowley.

It is no secret that Griffith is close to Attorney General Faris Al Rawi.

Griffith was the fourth choice on the merit list of the Police Service Commission. Now that the first three – Deodat Dulalchan, Harold Phillip and Williams – have been rejected, the way is now clear for Government to say yes to the colourful Gary Griffith.

On Friday, Government rejected Williams’ nomination.

With Williams gone, Rowley said the matter of a Commissioner of Police now returns to the PSC to continue the merit list process and Government would await notification from the President whenever she’s advised by the PSC.

Rowley added, “If there’s another name on the merit list and until the merit list is exhausted we’re not able to escape this process. The PSC doesn’t advise the President or Government of who’s on the list or how many are on it; we await the notification from the PSC, as it might very well be that there are others on the list who may find favour with this House.”

He said Williams’ nomination for the post also came before Parliament 10 years ago when Williams was “10 years younger and 10 years less tired”. He noted Parliament’s position then was Williams wasn’t ready for the responsibility of the post. Rowley said the current Parliament can’t say Williams isn’t ready now either.

“But what we have now is the benefit of evidence which, with the best analysis in the world and the best marking of the score, we all in T&T must conclude the fight against crime isn’t where we’d like it to be,” Rowley added.

“As we thank Mr Williams for his service and treat with this nomination, confirmation of him as Commissioner of Police, in the view of the Government, is not going to make the change the country requires at this time.

“Therefore, Government would not accept this notification, as we expect to respond in a way that will bring about some element of change and after seven years we don’t believe that just a confirmation – of not the incumbent, but the holder of an acting position – will change it.

“We cannot make a confirmation here and tomorrow it’s ‘business as usual’- that’s not what Trinidad and Tobago requires now. We require an intervention of change to give ourselves a chance to get the upper hand.”

He said Williams has given the assignment his best effort.

“There’s no disgrace in us accepting, or him accepting that once you do your best you simply have to leave the rest. But he’s been holding the fort and standing in the gap for Trinidad and Tobago.”

Rowley said Williams was a victim of the system, since it took years to bring the process to where it is now – a couple months before Williams goes on pre-retirement leave in September. He added the current process needs to be abolished and replaced by something much more efficient and expected conversations on this “in the not too distant future” between Government and Opposition.

Rowley said Government also would ensure Williams’ acting position for all those years didn’t go unrecognised.

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DR KEITH ROWLEY

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STEPHEN WILLIAMS

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