Police Commissioner Trevor Paul has been given a one-year extension in office.
Paul celebrated his 60th birthday yesterday and was officially due to retire on Friday.
He was enlisted in the police service on June 1, 1966, and was appointed Police Commissioner on July 15, 2004.
Sources from the Police Service Commission confirmed yesterday that Paul was asked to remain in office under Section 75 of the Constitution.
That section was amended by the UNC Administration to make it possible for a Commissioner of Police to remain in office even after he or she turns 60, which is the mandatory retirement age in the police service.
Contacted yesterday, Paul told Sunday Newsday that he was officially asked to remain in office until a suitable replacement is found. Paul added that he was unaware of how long that process will take but admitted that he has accepted the proposal to remain in office.
Sunday Newsday learned that on Tuesday, President George Maxwell Richards will officially make public the announcement of a one year extension for Paul. The only other Police Commissioner who was given a one-year extension was Kenny Noor Mohammed on July 19,1998.
The Police Service Commission is searching for a new Commissioner and has received several applications from persons wishing to fulfill the post. The applicants are from Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean, the United States, Canada and England. The recruitment drive for a new Commissioner came about as a result of recent changes to the legislation governing the police service.
Sunday Newsday learned that the PSC is seriously considering an applicant from England but they were advised to give Paul the extension. Commissioner Paul had promised in July 2004, when he became Commissioner to deal with the escalating crime in the country. He said then, “It is no doubt that I am at the helm of the police service at a time when its performance rating is probably at its lowest. “I am now in charge at a time when public opinion suggests that the failure of the organisation to adequately protect and serve our citizens is as a result of major deficiencies at the management level,” said Paul.
Despite the assurance from Paul to make a dent in crime, the country was plagued with murders, kidnappings and other forms of crime.
It was widely speculated that Assistant Police Commissioner James Philbert was the person tipped to replace Paul when he retires. Deputy Police Commissioner Glen Roach is also expected to hold the post as Ag Commissioner until a replacement is found. Yesterday, President of the Police Second Division, Cpl Emrol Bruce, said that the police service has at this point in time persons other that Commissioner Paul who are capable of taking the police service forward.
He added that if an extension has been granted to Paul, he is hoping that the Police Service Commission identifies a suitable replacement from within the police service and not think for a minute about any outside replacement.
“They could train a successor from within the police service because we have competent persons to take us forward,”said Cpl Bruce.
He pointed out that the foreigners who were hired to assist the police service in the transformation process, have done little to assist the police service.
Yuh mean this dotish fockin PNM government done start dey fockery awready.
How the fock yuh could give the biggest cont in the history of the Police Service ah year extension.
Well fockin T&T people, expect more kidnapping, murders (that will never be solved or lost in court), robberies galore, rapes and the fockin beat goes on.
Remember this is the fockin man that get his appointment letter direct from Manning, so he have to be lickin Manning cacahole all the time. Remember this is the big cont that tell ACP Graham in south he "doh want to rock the boat, he goin an retire soon." Remember this is the fockin asshole that went and speak at a PNM cottage meeting. (Lying focker).
Criminals probably celebrating today. Public Holiday for bandits. Another year of fockin prosperity.