National Security Minister Stuart Young assumed the duties of his new portfolio yesterday, meeting with heads of divisions and units at the Ministry’s Temple Court headquarters in Port of Spain.
A statement issued by the ministry said Young impressed the importance of engagement, focus and prioritization as well as the pursuit of solution-oriented strategies to confront issues of crime and criminality.
He was subsequently briefed on current matters at a security operations meeting with heads of the Defence and Protective Services. Young also received an update on the strategies currently being pursued by the various National Security agencies in the fight against crime.
The meeting also served to clarify the support and resources needed by the agencies from the ministry. Young said he is looking forward to full commitment and support from all heads and staff.
Young said he intends to strongly lead the ministry forward in the fight against crime and in improving the safety and security of citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.
On Monday, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi expressed support for Cabinet colleagues Stuart Young and Edmund Dillon, after the Prime Minister reassigned them in a major Cabinet reshuffle.
He said, “I have every confidence in my colleagues that they are capable and up to the task,” disagreeing with the claims that the reshuffle came as “a thief in the night.” With ministerial appointments solely being the Prime Minister’s prerogative, Al-Rawi said, “I will not go into speculation. I will just speak on the the positions that are occupied.”
He did not see Dillon’s reassignment to the Housing Ministry as an indictment on his performance as National Security Minister. “In my view, it (housing) is in fact one of the largest ministries requiring very serious attention.”
Al-Rawi saw no problem with Young continuing to function as Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister and Communications Minister in addition to serving as National Security Minister. He observed that Young has been performing these responsibilities for some time.
President of the Police, Social and Welfare Association, Inspector Michael Seales also welcomed the appointment of Stuart Young as Minister of National Security on Monday.
Seales, whose name appears third on the merit list for Deputy Commissioner of Police , expressed that “What the association has observed is that a new system of leadership is being built and it is in the context of a re-alignment strategy which represents a paradigm shift and a removal of entrenched interest.”.
This move, he said, “will create a new environment that will support transformational, transactional and transitional leadership in the Ministry of National Security as it relates to the fight against crime..
Seales believes: “This new construct will bring with it new dynamics, new communication structures, new synergies which will assist with professionalism, professional energies and a positive outlook in the fight against the narco trade, transitional crime and gang activities.”
He also said, “The fact that Young has to embrace three different ministries that are also key to building a strategy where there is a transfer of knowledge and resources, that will be brought to bear on the police service as an organisation, and will only redound to a better service to the citizens at large.”
Young’s latest appointment had created many different opportunities, he felt, which “if capitalized properly will be for the benefit of everyone,” though he also admitted it would take some time to see the benefits of this development.