Recount sought after police association elections

The mem­ber­ship of the T&T Po­lice Ser­vice So­cial and Wel­fare As­so­ci­a­tion (TTPSS­WA) has a new pres­i­dent and a new ex­ec­u­tive body af­ter nine years. How­ev­er, they are ex­pect­ing a re­count of the bal­lot.

Should the fi­nal ver­dict be a win then the new ex­ec­u­tive will "hit the ground run­ning" and hold a meet­ing with the Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice Gary Grif­fith to ad­dress the is­sues and give sug­ges­tions and rec­om­men­da­tions.

On Mon­day, the as­so­ci­a­tion held its elec­tions, the largest turnout ever in his­to­ry ac­cord­ing to the ex­ec­u­tive of the win­ning par­ty, the Po­lice Rep­re­sent­ing In­ter­ests of Mem­bers' Eq­ui­ty (PRIME), which is led by In­spec­tor Gideon Dick­son.

Dick­son se­cured 784 votes, edg­ing the Po­lice Em­pow­er­ment Par­ty's (PEP) In­spec­tor Sean Clarke who got 778. The PEP was led by In­spec­tors Seales and Anand Rame­sar.

How­ev­er, in an im­me­di­ate re­sponse for­mer pres­i­dent Michael Seales last evening con­firmed that per­sons who con­test­ed will be chal­leng­ing the re­sults for the posts of Pres­i­dent and Trea­sur­er.

He al­so added that there is sup­posed to be a by-elec­tion for the tied po­si­tion of As­sis­tant Sec­re­tary.

Speak­ing with the Guardian Me­dia on Tues­day, Dick­son said they are pre­pared to treat with the is­sue should a no all clear of them win­ning be giv­en, "it is all part of the process."

Dick­son said once his pres­i­den­cy is fi­nalised he will be seek­ing to be in­de­pen­dent and ful­ly rep­re­sent the of­fi­cers. He said for the last 18 to 24 months the as­so­ci­a­tion went silent with is­sues af­fect­ing of­fi­cers.

He al­so gave the as­sur­ance that the new ex­ec­u­tive will seek to bring back that lev­el of trans­paren­cy and ac­count­abil­i­ty which he said has been lack­ing for "quite a while."

"We want to reignite that pas­sion and dri­ve to want to be­come a mem­ber of the as­so­ci­a­tion be­cause we be­lieve that true con­sis­tent and best qual­i­ty rep­re­sen­ta­tion we are go­ing to win the next gen­er­a­tion of po­lice of­fi­cers and the or­gan­i­sa­tion will live long," Dick­son said.

With re­spect to train­ing and sen­si­ti­za­tion of so­cial is­sues in­clud­ing han­dling of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence cas­es Dick­son as­sured that train­ing will be a "go," "Any train­ing will be wel­comed be­cause we have a man­date to pro­tect and serve and it isn't on­ly about crime. It is giv­ing a ser­vice to the psy­choso­cial as­pects. In terms of what we can de­liv­er might be lim­it­ed how­ev­er we should be trained suf­fi­cient­ly enough to em­pathize with per­sons and give best ad­vice and al­so to iden­ti­fy is­sues suf­fi­cient­ly enough to get the right in­ter­ven­tion so that they can get back to a lev­el of nor­mal­cy," Dick­son said.

Reporter: Rhondor Dowlat-Rostant

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