Cops: Dulalchan a surprise candidate

After several years of ups and downs with some controversy in attempting to appoint a permanent Police Commissioner, the Police Service Commission (PSC) has selected acting deputy Police Commissioner (Operations), Deodath Dulalchan to be T&T’s new top cop.

Top sources within National Security revealed yesterday that the PSC gave the nod to Dulalchan, who applied for either of two posts—Commissioner or Deputy—a post in which he has been acting for almost two years.

Yesterday, the PSC submitted the commission’s recommendations of two deputy Police Commissioners and the Commissioner to the President.

A source said acting deputy Police Commissioner Harold Phillip has also been selected to fill that vacancy.

The source said Dulalchan, who has been named Gold Commander for this year’s Carnival, was recommended ahead of several other candidates, among them former national security minister Gary Griffith, acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams and president of the Police Social and Welfare Association Inspector Michael Seales, who is currently reading for his Doctorate.

Dulalchan, when contacted last night, had no comment.

Top officers in the Police Service described Dulalchan’s selection as a “bombshell” as no one expected him to be selected as Commissioner but rather Deputy Commissioner. They said it was also a big surprise as his name was not in the forefront before.

Other officers who applied for the post of commissioner were secretary of the Police Social and Welfare Association ASP Anand Ramesar, acting ACP commissioner Irwin Hackshaw, retired deputy commissioner Glen Hackett and former police officer Wayne Hayde.

Dulalchan has been a police officer for 37 years and during his career he worked in several divisions. He is known to be a no-nonsense police officer.

He has been actively involved in all the Police Town meetings throughout Trinidad hearing the complaints of those in the various communities. Up to Wednesday he attended a similar meeting in Valencia, promising to bring relief to residents.

It was only on a radio interview on Power102 FM on Wednesday that Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley expressed frustration over the upsurge in criminal activity in T&T and the delay of the selection process of a permanent Police Commissioner.

Now that a commissioner has been selected the Parliament still has veto power.

According to section 123 (2) of the Constitution, Parliament can veto the decision of the PSC and force the search to be restarted.

The next step in the process is for the President, in accordance with the Constitution, to issue a notification in respect of the highest graded candidates, which shall be subject to an affirmative resolution from the House of Representatives.

The commission shall appoint the Commissioner of Police or Deputy Commissioners of Police only after the notifications are approved.

The exercise to find a Police Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner cost taxpayers approximately $3.2 million (TT) to local consulting firm KPMG.

The search began with advertisements of the positions placed in local newspapers from September 4 to 29.

The funding for the search came from the commission’s budgetary provision.

No one has held the substantive post since 2012, when Stephen Williams was appointed as acting Commissioner of Police, a position for which he has received 11 six-month extensions since that time.

In yesterday’s statement the PSC said the candidates, who vied for the open positions, underwent a comprehensive, rigorous process to determine their suitability for the roles. This included psychometric testing, panel interviews, scenario testing, professional and security vetting, financial and background checks, and medical assessments, the commission added.


After Trevor Paul retired as Commissioner of Police in 2008, James Philbert, who was the most senior officer in the service after Paul, was appointed to act in the role.

At that time, acting Deputy Commissioner Stephen Williams, who was the PSC’s nominee for CoP in 2008 after being recommended by Penn State, had been rejected by the PNM in Parliament.

In 2010, during a search under the People’s Partnership coalition, Parliament rejected Canadian Neal Parker for the post, citing that he had been part of the evaluation team for the selection of the commissioner in 2008.

The last appointed commissioner, Canadian Dwayne Gibbs was the second-rated nominee on Penn State’s evaluation.

Source: (Robert Alonzo)

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