Tobago police officers who were recently screened for promotion to the rank of Inspector, say they are in full support of the injunction filed yesterday which effectively stopped the formal swearing-in ceremony for 50 officers who were promoted.
They claim the evaluation process was rife with inconsistencies, was biased and was in breach of established promotion policies.
The group of officers told Guardian Media that the selection process, which ran from October to December, was based on “Examination Scores, Appearance and Turnout, Candidate Profile and an Interpersonal Interview session”.
The final selection is made by a state-appointed board. However, they say the entire process got off to a bad start.
“All officers seeking promotion are subject to a Performance Management Assessment (PMAS) process. And right here in Tobago all the officers were given the exact same assessment score across the board.”
The officer said he felt insulted because he understood that the evaluation process was rushed, as it was due for completion before a specific submission date.
“Its really unfair because some of the officers really work hard and we sacrifice a lot, then to find out that we are given the same assessment score as an officer that is currently on one-year sick leave.”
The officers said they observed another “red flag” during the interview process, which was done virtually. At this stage the officers were asked to answer three questions in 15 minutes.
“These questions are usually extensive and multifaceted. It tests your ability to retain and assess but some of the officers were given an advantage because the question was left on screen while they were responding. Others didn’t get that benefit.”
When the process was completed, they each received a general email detailing how the scores were tabulated in addition to individual emails with their scores and ranking. They said this too was incomplete.
One of the officers said he was deeply troubled as after comparing scores he realised that his overall score was above another officer yet he was ranked beneath the officer.
In response, Police Commissioner Gary Griffith said the matter was just one of baseless allegations.
“If it was legit they would be confident enough to make official complaints to me, not run to the media with wild accusations and no data to verify their concern.”
He said he could not investigate “rum shop talk” and said if officers had legitimate concerns and grounds they would be reviewed.