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ROLE, RESPONSIBILITY AND COMPOSITION OF THE POLICE SERVICE COMMISSION
The Police Service Commission was established on June 1, 1956 by the Trinidad and Tobago (Constitution) Amendment Order in Council 1956 (1956 No. 835).
Provision for the Police Service Commission was made in Sections 66B—66G of a further amended constitution, on June 15,1959, to usher in Cabinet Government by an order in Council (1959 No.1044).
On December 1, 1960 the first commissioners were appointed comprising Sir Werner Boos C.B.E (Chairman), Cyril Oswald Stroud, Prince Edward Ferdinand, Conrad Errol O’Brien, Wilfred Dennis Best.
The Commission which was advisory to the Governor became an executive body in 1962 as a result of the independence of Trinidad & Tobago (Trinidad and Tobago Constitution 1962 No. 1875—Section 98 and 99).
On August 1, 1976, Trinidad and Tobago became a Republic consequent on enactment of Act No.4 of 1976 a Republic Constitution.
As mentioned earlier, provision for the function of the commission was made in Sections 122 and 128 of the Republican Constitution.
The Constitution (Amendment) Act No.6 of 2006, (‘the Act”) which took effect from January 1, 2007, amended section 122 of the Constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago with respect to the procedure to be followed for the appointment of members of the Police Service Commission.
Under the new provisions the President, after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, is required to nominate to the House of Representatives persons who are qualified and experienced in the disciplines of law, finance, sociology or management.
The President is further required to make appointments to the Police Service Commission after the House of Representatives approves the Notification issued by the President in respect of each nomination.
METHOD OF FUNCTIONING
The method of function of the Commission was determined by its constitutional responsibilities. The Act and the Constitution (Amendment) Act 2007 conferred direct responsibility on the Commissioner of Police for recruitment, promotions, appointments, transfers and discipline of all police officers up to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police. These functions were previously, inter alia the responsibility of the former Commission.
The present Commission has been empowered by the Constitution, inter alia,
• To evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of the performance of the Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioners of Police;
• To hear and determine appeals by officers against the Commissioner in respect of his decisions on promotions and discipline;
• To appoint the commissioner and deputy Commissioners of Police (through a selective process determined by Parliament) and
• To remove from office the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners of Police and exercise disciplinary control over them.