Newly appointed Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC) Paul Slowe has admitted that he does have baggage but he noted that what’s in the package is what matters.
He was at the time responding to comments made by the Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo who had said following a meeting with President David Granger that Slowe “…will bring two sets of baggage with him; the political approach to job – judging people on the basis of politics – and secondly, he has a lot of interpersonal problems with many members of the Police Force and old scores, I believe to settle, and therefore that could harm his judgement.”
Slowe had been the Chairman of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the alleged assassination plot on the President last year.
In his COI report which was leaked to the state media before Cabinet could peruse it, he outlined several disciplinary actions to be taken against the former Commissioner, Seelall Persaud among other senior officers who were interviewed by the Commission.
Jagdeo, at that time had indicated his belief that Slowe had “had an axe to grind” and was acting on the basis of vendetta.
According to Jagdeo, if Granger was serious about an investigation into the alleged plot against him, “he should not have appointed Paul Slowe to head it, because Paul Slowe has bad blood with many people.”
He then drew attention to the fact the Slowe had in fact served on the coalition’s campaign team in the last general Elections held in May 2015.
However, when asked about this shortly after he was sworn-in, Slowe told reporters that what he has to offer is what matters.
“I do have baggage but is what’s in the baggage is the important thing. The baggage contains discipline, professional, measures to deal with corruption so forget about the baggage just look at what’s in it,” the new PSC Chairman asserted.
Apart from Slowe, Vester Adams, Clinton Conway, Alexis Jarvis and Chairman of the Public Service Commission Michael Somersall were also sworn-in as members of the new Police Service Commission by the Head of State on Thursday at State House.
This new Police Service Commission will last for a period of 3 years.
President Granger in brief remarks said that the PSC has the power to hire and discipline the hierarchy of the Police Force and as such, urged that the Commission to appointment leaders who will end corruption and will work to not only restore the legacy of the Force but public trust as well.
The life of the last Police Service Commission came to an end in September of 2017 and there have since been calls for its reconstitution.
In fact, concerns were further raised after there were no promotions of senior officers last year.
Before the life of the last Police Service Commission ended President David Granger had ordered in July, of that year, that it put a hold on the promotion of senior ranks.
Though that order was followed, the Court later determined that it was illegal for the President to direct the autonomous Commission.
A perusal of the then PSC’s list of personnel to be promoted had revealed that among those who were scheduled to be promoted were several senior officers who had been hauled before the CoI into the alleged assassination plot against President Granger.
With the reconvening of this Commission, it is expected that the business of the Police, including promotions, can recommence.
In January of 2018, Acting Commissioner of Police David Ramnarine had called for the Body to be put in operation as soon as possible.
Ramnarine told reporters that the number of senior ranks within the Force is dwindling and as such, the Force is eagerly awaiting the reconstitution of the Police Service Commission so that the long awaited promotions for 2017 can be made.