New MPS Constables
New Municipal Police Constables take the oath of office at the Municipal Police Training Academy in Marabella yesterday. The officers wore face masks and were seated in accordance with social distancing guidelines. Family members and well-wishers were not present at the ceremony in an effort to kept attendee numbers at a minimum. (Image: Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government)

The Trinidad and Tobago Municipal Police Service (TTMPS) has been augmented with the addition of 115 new Municipal Police Constables, who took the oath of office at the Municipal Police Training Academy in Marabella, yesterday, Monday 11 May 2020.

The new Constables took their oaths in batches of six, in order to minimize the number of persons congregating in a given area, in observance of the social distancing and other special guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health, to stem the spread of COVID-19.

The new officers will be deployed to the Port of Spain City Corporation, San Fernando City Corporation, Arima Borough Corporation and the Point Fortin Borough Corporation.

In delivering the feature address at the Swearing-in Ceremony, Minister of Rural Development and Local Government, Senator Haji Kazim Hosein, commended the graduates for successfully responding to a direct call by the Prime Minister to join the ranks of the TTMPS, and to providing a sense of security to their communities.

“Community security is one of the most important mandates of the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government,” the Minister noted. “The safety and security of burgesses is of critical importance and you, Municipal Police Officers, play a significant role in ensuring that safety.”

Minister Hosein reported that Municipal Police Constables receive training equivalent to that of officers in the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS). He urged the new Constables to exhibit pride in their new profession.

“You must be honest and consistent in your commitment to quality customer service,” Minister Hosein told the graduates, “and to always maintain a duty of care in the execution of your duties. Remain humble, avoid corrupt practices and always have God in your thoughts, as you work diligently in service to your fellow man.”

Senator the Honourable Kazim Hosein is flanked by Municipal Police Commanders at the Municipal Police Training Academy in Marabella, yesterday. (L-R) Superintendent Curtis Belfour, Senior Superintendent Cecil Santana, Minister Kazim Hosein, Assistant Commissioner of Police – Administration, Pamela Schullera-Hinds and Superintendent Glen Charles.
(Image: Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government)

Yesterday’s swearing-in ceremony followed a special meeting (held on Monday May 4th 2020) with the Minister of Public Administration Senator Allyson West; representatives of the Statutory Authorities Service Commission (SASC); Public Service Commission (PSC); Chief Personnel Office (CPO); Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs; and senior officials of the TTMPS.

That meeting was convened as part of continued efforts to eliminate challenges between the SASC and the PSC, which would prevent the recruitment of a new batch of Municipal Police trainees. Minister Hosein reported that those discussions were fruitful and will pave the way for the recruitment of a further 378 recruits, in the near future. 

The complement of officers within the Municipal Police Service has increased from 216 officers in 2016, to 737 officers, inclusive of the cohort of 115 Constables, sworn-in on Monday.

Minister Hosein gave special commendation to those Municipal Police officers engaged in humanitarian efforts during the current COVID-19 crisis, coordinating food drives and bringing much needed support to communities across Trinidad.

Additionally, the Minister noted the extensive collaboration that has been taking place between the TTPS and the TTMPS throughout all 14 municipalities, which has led to provision of joint patrols, enforcement of regulations outlined in the Public Health Ordinance, and provision of additional security to all citizens.

Senator Hosein also acknowledged the families of law enforcement officers and encouraged the new Constables, and all officers present, to do the same.

“As a law enforcement officer, you are often called upon to make difficult decisions and sacrifices. In those times, it is your family that will be there for you,” he told the graduates. “Always appreciate your families because, in addition to being your support system, they also are making a sacrifice for the greater good of our country.”

Present at yesterday’s graduation exercise was the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government, Desdra Bascombe; the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Raymond Seepaul; Senior Superintendent Municipal Police, Cecil Santana; and Utara Ali, the Executive Officer for Statutory Authorities Service Commission (SASC).