Trinidad and Tobago Police Service
- maintain law and order;
- preserve peace;
- protect life and property;
- prevent and detect crime;
- apprehend offenders and
- enforce all laws and regulations with which it is charged.
- Highly experienced and charismatic police officer who has consistently demonstrated exceptional leadership and management skills;
- Reliable team player who has earned the trust, confidence and support of police officers throughout the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service;
- Self-motivated and energetic team builder with a passion for the turnaround of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service and the fortitude to effect change;
- Visionary leader with intimate knowledge of all facets of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service
- Outstanding negotiator with the ability to build sustainable relationships across and beyond the TTPS
- systems for more transparent management of the TTPS being established,
- enforcement of the principles of equity and meritocracy within the Service,
- powers being conferred on the Commissioner of Police to control and manage the financial, human and material resources of the Service.
On behalf of the TTPS, I take this opportunity to welcome you to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) portal on the Commonwealth of Nations website.
Trinidad and Tobago has a population of over 1.3 million and is a twin island Republic located among the most southern islands in the Caribbean. The islands boast a diverse ethnic mix that mainly comprises people of African and Indian descent but which also includes persons of European, Chinese and Middle Eastern ancestry. This multi- ethnic society is known for its rich natural resources, diverse music – steel pan and soca – and of course, its carnival festival which attracts thousands of local and international revellers and spectators.
The mandate of the TTPS is to:
In 2013, the organization’s change in leadership brought with it a new approach to policing Trinidad and Tobago. In the last 10 years, the country had experienced unprecedented levels of violent crimes in which the firearm was used in over 70% of the homicides. This fuelled fear of crime among the population. Safety and security became the country’s number one concern. Additionally, fatalities and serious injuries on our roadways were of growing concern to citizens and public confidence and trust in the police was low. The TTPS was challenged to reduce violent crimes, meet the heavy demand for increased policing of the roadways to make them safer and restore public confidence and trust. Targeted crime reduction and prevention strategies, heavy law enforcement and initiatives to improve the TTPS-community relationship were obviously the way forward.
Annual operating plans and a three-year (2014 – 2016) strategic plan were developed to guide the implementation of modern proactive policing strategies which include evidence based policing, hot spots policing, intensified seizures of illegal firearms and ammunition, stops and searches, COMPSTAT and community oriented policing (policing for people). Expanding our use of technology and building capacity, motivating employees and improving their morale are also critical components of these “roadmaps”. The actions laid out in the plans are geared towards accomplishing our four strategic goals – reduce and detect crime, improve safety on our roadways and in other public places, improve the level of citizen-centred service and strengthen the organization – and ultimately our vision of making every place in Trinidad and Tobago safe.
The results that we have achieved since 2013 are a testimony of the effectiveness of the strategies that have thus far been implemented. A comparison of the year 2012 with 2013 revealed significant results: 30% reduction in violent crimes, 26% reduction in serious crimes, 14% increase in the number of firearms found and seized, 24% reduction in road traffic accidents (RTAs) and 26% reduction in fatal RTAs – the lowest since 2005. The year 2013/2014 comparison was no different. In 2014, a pattern of reduction in murders began in key locations which traditionally accounted for the largest number of these crimes. Additionally, total serious crimes was the lowest the country had experienced in the last 30 years (since 1985) – 8% reduction, 26% increase in number of firearms found and seized and RTAs and fatal RTAs the second lowest in the last 10 years. Greater effort is being taken to strengthen collaboration with internal and external stakeholders as well as improve the relationship between the police and public. Ongoing training of officers in customer service, positive engagement of youths via police youth clubs, community/town meetings, council meetings, a weekly media briefing, a daily interactive television programme to raise public awareness on safety and security, a road safety and an anti-bullying campaign are some of the key activities in train to help to strengthen this vital relationship.
The economic welfare of our country, our future growth and development and the contentment of our people are heavily dependent on the impact of the services that we provide. The police leadership will continue to simultaneously lead by example, explore and implement best practice, motivate staff members, encourage purposeful teamwork and fortify its relationship with the public to ensure that every place in Trinidad and Tobago is indeed safe.
I encourage you to visit the TTPS website to learn more about the organization and what we are doing in Trinidad and Tobago. You are also invited to come and experience Trinidad and Tobago and all that this beautiful twin island Republic offers. We look forward to forging new relationships with other Commonwealth members and their partners.
Commissioner of Police (Ag.)
Trinidad and Tobago Police Service
 Serious Crimes is the collective term used to describe a group of crimes that include the following offences: (a) murders (b) woundings & shootings (c) sexual offences (d) kidnapping (e) burglaries & break-ins (f) robberies (g) fraud offences (h) general larceny (i) larceny motor vehicles (j) larceny dwelling house and (k) narcotic offences
Mr. Stephen Williams, MBA, M.St, LLB, LEC, MCMI
Commissioner of Police (Ag.)
Trinidad and Tobago Police Service
Mr. Stephen Williams was enlisted as a police officer in the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) in 1979 at the age of 18 years. In 1995, he was admitted to the Bar of Trinidad and Tobago as an Attorney at law. He was selected by the Police Service Commission to be appointed as Commissioner of Police in 2008, but was only appointed to act in this position for different periods of time beginning in July 2010. Since August 7th 2012, Mr. Williams has consistently held the Office of Commissioner of Police and to date has accumulated over 36 years of service without ever taking sick leave.
Over the years, Mr. Williams performed exceptionally well at all ranks of the TTPS and in every area of the Service that he has worked. This includes, but is not limited to, working as Detective Team Lead in Eastern Division; Head of the Eastern Division Anti-crime Taskforce; Prosecutor in the Court and Process Branch; Assistant Superintendent, Planning and Development Unit; Superintendent in charge of the Executive Secretariat which was established to co-ordinate various anti-crime, training and other initiatives of the Police Service Transformation Programme; Head of Organizational Change (October 2007 to October 2008); Gold Commander, 2009 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting; Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Community Relations, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Crime and Operations, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Administration and most recently Commissioner of Police. He also served as President of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Social and Welfare Association (TTPSSWA) for three years (1998 – 2001) which resulted in successful negotiation of bargaining agreements with the Chief Personnel Officer (CPO). Thereafter, he began nine years’ service to the TTPS Credit Union; seven of which he served as President. It is to be noted that the latter culminated in the credit union declaring a net surplus of TT$26.9 million – the highest in 52 years.
Mr. Williams’ passion for service and his knowledge and expertise in policing are personified in work as a police officer and his achievements. He was the first and only police officer of the TTPS to be accepted as a Member of the Chartered Management Institute, UK (MCMI) (2007) and was presented a Special Award for public service to the Government and People of Trinidad and Tobago by the Minister of National Security (2009). Best performing officer, dedication to duty, conducting diligent and painstaking enquiries are also among the awards and commendations that he has received.
To date, one of Mr. Williams’ most significant accomplishments is the establishment of an evidence-based culture within the TTPS and the implementation of hotspots policing, which resulted in the lowest number of serious crimes (12,055 in 2014) in Trinidad and Tobago in 30 years. Additionally, he has driven positive engagement of youths through the expansion of Police Youth Clubs across the country and improved the relationship between the police and communities via town and community meetings and through increased accessibility and visibility of officers. He is also the first CoP to lead the TTPS leadership team into direct engagement with all rank and file of officers and civilian staff members on a large scale regarding strategic and operating plans and employees’ needs and concerns.
Commissioner Williams’ academic and professional qualifications were acquired locally and abroad. They include:
Degree of Master of Studies in Applied Criminology and Police Management University of Cambridge United Kingdom, 2013
Level 7 Executive Diploma in Strategic Management (with emphasis on Strategic Planning, Transnational Organized Crime, Change Management, Incident Command) Chartered Management Institute of the United Kingdom, 2007
Degree of Executive Master’s in Business Administration (with emphasis on Corporate Turnaround and Contemporary Human Resource Management)
University of the West Indies, 2006
Executive Diploma in Public Sector Management
University of the West Indies, Institute of Business, 2001
Legal Education Certificate
Hugh Wooding Law School, 1995
Bachelor of Laws Degree
University of London, 1993
Attachment to the United Kingdom Police Force for practical development in modern police management and operations
Mr. Williams is a
Commissioner Williams is married and has 5 children – 4 sons and 1 daughter. He lauds his family, especially his wife, for their support in helping him to achieve success as a police officer and credits his parents, for the values they instilled in him as a boy, the sacrifices they made for his education and their willingness to let him take flight to pursue the career of his choice. He stands out for his unwavering integrity, his commitment to his family, his passion for positive engagement of youths and his commitment, dedication and service to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service.
A defining year for the TTPS was 2006 when major transformation was initiated through legislative reform. Three critical Acts were amended in that year – the Police Service Act, Police Complaints Authority Act and the Constitution Amendment Act. These amendments brought about the following major changes:
In 2007 the “new” Police Service Regulations were enacted as a consolidation of the “old” Police Service Regulations and the “old” Police Service Commission Regulations. As a result, the Commissioner of Police was entrusted with the full responsibility to regulate all matters relating to the Police Service. Further changes came about in 2011 when the Commissioner of Police was assigned the role of Accounting Officer for the Service by the Controller of Accounts.
Although, significant investments of time, money and human effort have been made to transform the TTPS, the Organization continues to struggle between holding on to its established conventions and culture, and taking hold of a new order of business that is consistent with a successful contemporary Police organization. As such, a structured program of change management and performance management remains critical to the transformation process. In this rapidly changing environment, the TTPS continues to transform and adapt, in order to meet the needs of the people it serves.
Vision and Mission
The Vision and Mission of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service are predicated on a functional relationship between the police and the community it serves.
Vision: To make every place in Trinidad and Tobago safe
Mission: “In partnership with the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago we provide for safe and secure communities and other places through professional policing, focused leadership and consistent, high quality service.”
Command and Administration of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service
The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service is a paramilitary organization which is hierarchical in nature. The Commissioner of Police is head of the Police Service and is empowered under the provisions of Section 193 of the Police Service Regulations 2007 to issue administrative orders called Service Standing Orders for the general control, direction and information of the Service. Public Service Regulations govern public service employees while contractual agreements govern contract employees.
The Service is managed by the Commissioner of Police and his Executive which is comprised of three (3) Deputy Commissioners of Police, eleven (11) Assistant Commissioners of Police and eight (8) Civilian Heads of Department. There are ten (10) levels of rank from Constable to Commissioner of Police. These ranks form two categories: First Division and Second Division (see Figure 1 below) which are sanctioned by Section 7 of the Police Service Act, Chapter 15:01.
Composition of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service
The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service comprises thirty-five (35) Divisions/Branches/Units and is staffed by both police officers and civilian employees comprising public servants and contract workers, who mainly provide administrative and management support. To augment the strength of the TTPS, Special Reserve Police (SRP) Officers are recruited to provide support both in operational and administrative functions. SRPs are governed by The Special Reserve Police Act Chapter 15:03. There are over ten thousand employees within the TTPS – six thousand, six hundred and nineteen (6,619) regular police officers, twenty six hundred (2600) SRPs and eight hundred and ninety six (896) civilian employees (four hundred and fifty two (452) public servants and four hundred and forty four (444) contract employees).
Trinidad and Tobago is divided into nine (9) police geographical divisions which are categorized into four (4) regions (see Table 1 and figure 2. Police Geographical Divisions and Regions).
Each region is managed by an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP); while, each division is managed by a Senior Superintendent of Police (referred to as the Divisional Commander) who is supported by a Superintendent (referred to as the Operational Commander). The police geographical divisions comprise several police stations and posts which together total seventy-eight (78) across Trinidad and Tobago. An Inspector or Sergeant is responsible for managing each police station.
The Police Academy has the overarching responsibility for training and recruitment of police officers. Partnership with regional and international institutions has created the opportunity for officers to be trained locally and abroad. Our most recent alliance with the University of Cambridge, UK, has resulted in several senior officers undertaking various courses of study at that institution and approximately 620 officers being trained in areas such as Evidence-based Policing. The Provost, a civilian employee, oversees the running of the Academy and is supported by a Senior Superintendent and a Superintendent of Police.
Discipline and Independent Oversight of the Organization
The TTPS Professional Standards Bureau (PSB) is responsible for investigating complaints and allegations made against police officers. A Disciplinary Officer is posted in each of the nine (9) police geographical divisions. Once a complaint has been lodged at a police station, it is submitted to that Division’s Disciplinary Officer who will take action based on the specifications in the Police Service Regulations and the relevant Departmental Order. Officers are tried before a Tribunal that is set up via the PSB.
The law makes provisions for some external bodies to examine the TTPS. These bodies include:
Police Complaints Authority (PCA) – The law makes provisions for this body to scrutinize activities of the Police Service including serious police misconduct.
Police Service Commission (PSC) – This body oversees the TTPS by monitoring activities of the Commissioner of Police and the Deputy Commissioners of Police.
The law also makes provisions for the Joint Select Committee of Parliament (JSC) and the Ombudsman to examine and monitor activities of the TTPS.
Effective Policing Approach
Trinidad and Tobago, with its beautiful beaches, euphoric carnival festival, enchanting rainforests and fun-loving people, recorded an all-time high of 22,162 serious crimes in 2009. However, by 2014 the numbers drastically dropped by 45.5 per cent to a 30-year low of 12,055. What is responsible for the plummet in serious crimes?
This phenomenal success is largely attributed to a radical change in the policing approach under new leadership. The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) diverted from its traditional reactionary policing model featuring routine patrols and response to crimes from stations to a preventative one by implementing its Effective Policing Approach which placed crime prevention as its highest priority. This new proactive, service-oriented approach combined several contemporary policing strategies (Evidence-Based Policing, Hotspots Patrols, COMPSTAT and Policing for People) into one. It allowed the TTPS to deliver unprecedented increases in patrol time in high crime hotspots within communities.
A major boost in resources provided by the government contributed to this achievement. The vehicle fleet was expanded by 332 and equipped with GPS tracking devices, while over 1,200 new officers were recruited. The TTPS and the University of Cambridge, UK, also formed a special relationship to implement a Hotspots Patrol experiment and train 400 officers in Evidence-Based Policing.
The TTPS is now considered a trailblazer in using GPS to track and deliver mobile patrols in high crime hotspots. All hotspots are electronically geofenced to precisely calculate the patrol time spent in each. The objective is to maximise the deterrent effect of mobile patrols on crime.
The Effective Policing Approach is guided by the TTPS Strategic Plan (2014–16) and the annual operating plan, which are posted on our website to give the public easy access to detailed information on strategies, policies and actions being pursued by the organisation. The plans were developed with direct contributions from internal and external stakeholders (business, religious and community-based organisations).
The TTPS accounts to the public and obtains feedback on its performance by holding monthly community outreach meetings, weekly press briefings and a daily interactive television programme. These activities are geared towards achieving our vision ‘to make every place in Trinidad and Tobago safe’.