National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds speaks during a press conference on national security issues at the ministry’s Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.

National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds maintains that Deputy Commissioner of Police Mc Donald Jacob, whose position of acting Commissioner of Police (CoP) expired at midnight Thursday, remains in charge of the T&T Police Service (TTPS) from this substantive position until a CoP is appointed.

This follows a court judgement yesterday declaring Gary Griffith’s appointment as acting CoP as null and void.

“In effect, this means that while there is a vacancy in the post of Commissioner of Police, Deputy Commissioner of Police McDonald Jacob, by virtue of his being the most senior police officer in the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, remains in charge of the said Police Service from this substantive office, until such time as a Commissioner of Police is appointed in accordance with the now settled law,” Hinds said.

“As Minister of National Security, and on behalf of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, I hereby give the public the assurance that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service will continue to execute its responsibility to the people of Trinidad and Tobago, without let or hindrance, as it is so mandated under the laws of Trinidad and Tobago,” he added.

But president of the Police Social Welfare Association Gideon Dickson yesterday said they were shocked by the ruling and with the possibility that the Police Service may have no substantive CoP.

“I am in a state of shock because this means that the TTPS will be without substantive leadership but McDonald Jacob, who is the acting Commissioner of Police as of yesterday, was the only substantive Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) and as a result the TTPS is in safe hands. The chain of succession remains. We will still have one senior officer to give us directions and to treat with operations and so forth,” Dickson said.

However, Dickson added that the TTPS has been put in a predicament as the regulations and legislations currently outline.

“Only a Commissioner of Police can vary SoE (State of Emergency) hours, and treat with accounts and finances, suspend or reaffirm persons and deal with a variety of administrative issues. So we are in uncertain times, yes. But we are not in dark times. So, I will ask the membership to hold strain for now,” Dickson added.