RURAL Development and Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein said on Friday the court’s decision to award $85 million to some 152 municipal police officers, relates to a matter that has been ongoing for 15 years. Hosein said this matter relates to delays at the Statutory Authorities Service Commission in regards to municipal police regulations.
“While we are the ministry that handles the day-to-day administration of Municipal Police, they are hired through two service commissions.” Hosein declined to comment on the judgement itself. “It is being handled at the Office of the Attorney General, which is the appropriate agency to address all legal matters involving the State. “In its 2015 election manifesto, the People’s National Movement promised the establishment of municipal police constabularies at each of the 14 local government corporations in Trinidad in order to help deal with the country’s crime problem. Each of these constabularies was supposed to have 100 officers. The award of compensation was made by Justice Vasheist Kokaram at the Hall of Justice, Port of Spain. Individual orders for damages ranged from $700,000 to $900,000, based on their rank and if they had retired by the time the matter when to the Privy Council in January 2015. The officers were represented by attorneys Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, Vijaya Maharaj and Nyala Badal.