TTPSSWA wants explanation from gov’t on Lucas’ rejection as DCP

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TTPSSWA wants explanation from gov’t on Lucas’ rejection as DCP

Why did the Government reject Assistant Commissioner of Police Wendell Lucas for the position of Deputy Commissioner of Police?

That’s the question being asked by the President of the Police Social and Welfare Association, acting ASP Gideon Dickson.

Dickson is calling for a full-scale explanation as he described Lucas’ rejection as “strange”.

Lucas was nominated number one on the merit list from the Police Service Commission but was rejected in parliament last Friday, after being praised for his accomplishments, long service and dedication to the police service by National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds.

On the heels of the controversial rejection, an article in this week’s Sunday Guardian reported that allegations of misconduct contained in a confidential document from a former head of the Professional Standard Bureau (PSB) Totaram Dookhie which could have been the reason the Government gave the thumbs down to Lucas to the position of DCP.

The four-page document stated that Dookhie was assigned in 2019 to conduct an investigation made by officers of the Customs and Excise Division into allegations of suspected misbehaviour in public office and branches of discipline against Lucas.

Dookhie had raised one instance about the conflict of Lucas’ role as then head of the Financial Investigation Branch and the extent to which the exercise of his legal practice conflicted with it.

In Dookhie’s view, given the seriousness of the allegation, he felt Lucas should not be associated with a white-collar investigation.

Lucas is head of the T&T Police Service White Collar Unit.

Dickson, in a GML report, said it is important for the accused to get an opportunity to defend themselves which is part of due process.

He said his association is standing shoulder to shoulder with Lucas.

“What occurred with Mr Lucas, as an association, we also would like a level of transparency and accountability on the part of the Government to publicly state why the nomination of Mr Lucas would have been handled in the way it was handled. We see it as putting the officer’s family and his subordinates…his staff… in a somewhat humiliating position,” Dickson said.

“Based on our last communication it is not an easy position or place to be. Mr Lucas is only human. He has demonstrated his level of professionalism in the face of adversity. It is not an easy place to be. He will resurface soon and have his day too,” he added.

Dickson said what happened in Parliament could affect career-minded officers who would like to apply for the post of DCP in the future.