Former national security minister Jack Warner was an “exceptional” minister and the driving force to make the police service more efficient and effective. So said acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams who paid glowing tribute to Warner yesterday. The acting top cop was fielding questions from the media after the opening ceremony at Capital Plaza, Port-of-Spain, of the International Association of Women Police Conference.
He said: “He (Warner) has been an exceptional minister and an exceptional leader and I want to put that on record. He has impacted the police service, even by way of some cultural things, in relation to performance and I am talking positively. “Any one of the leaders in the ministry (national security) will tell you the same thing. Mr Warner has been a big driving force in relation to the activities over the many months.”
Asked to be more specific on Warner’s performance, Williams said the police service had changed the way of assessing performance, especially as it related to data collection. He added: “With the advent of minister Warner, at 6 am every member of the executive is fully aware of what’s happening in each division because they have to account for performance.
“Every morning at 6 am we can tell you what is the status with crime across T&T and each regional ACP could tell you what is the condition with crime across his region. Priorto minister Warner that was not part of the culture.” Saying this was “now a norm” in the police service, Williams added that Deputy Police Commissioner Mervyn Richardson also was provided with daily crime reports by all the ACPs between 5 am and 5.30 am which in turn was relayed to the national security minister.
“Those ACPs would in turn have been updated by each regional commander of the divisions. So while some of you may be sleeping at 4 am the senior superintendent in charge of a division is on top of his game,” Williams added. Describing Warner as a “man of action,” Williams said the former national security minister “caused” many positive things to happen in the police service.
He added: “The issue of whether something could happen, that is not part of his (Warner’s) vocabulary. Part of his vocabulary is how can we cause this to happen. “The issue of challenges, that’s relevant to him—how can we drive crime down, how can we get murders down. That was his focus.” The police service, however, remained committed to fighting crime and providing a safer environment, Williams said.