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Astwood Rejects Foreign Interim Commissioner Appointment, Advocates for Locals

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Dana Malcolm ‘

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – “Hell no” would have been the response from Edwin Astwood, Opposition leader, to the prospect of hiring a foreigner to the position of interim acting Police Commissioner; instead, he brought out a list of locals the Governor should have considered.

“I have nothing against the individual [hired]––but what I am saying is we have 16 top right ranked Turks Islanders,” he continued, “and if I was a part of any meeting–– concerning this acting post and bringing in someone from the outside, I would say no.  In fact, I would say hell no.”

Astwood gave his reasons:

“I strongly believe that promoting Islanders from within to the position of commissioner is crucial. Internal promotions foster a sense of loyalty and commitment among the department ranks. Officers, who worked their way up through the organization, have a deep understanding of its culture, values, and operational procedures,” he said.

The Leader of the People’s Democratic Movement was speaking after the funeral of the late Jayden Joshua Smith, five days after UK national Chris Eyre was appointed to the role of interim acting commissioner following the announcement that the man who was hired for the police commissioner post would be unable to take on the job until May, for medical reasons. The opposition leader believed those in charge namely: Washington Misick, Turks and Caicos Premier and Daleeni Daniel-Selvaratnam, TCI Governor should have considered locals for the post.

”You cannot tell me, looking at these 16 names of the top brass of the police, at the level of inspectors and up, that no one from these 16 can at least act as Acting Commissioner until the Commissioner comes here,” said Edwin Astwood.

Citing what he described as the abundance of skilled officers, Astwood chided Washington Misick for allowing the appointment.

”I am disappointed in the Premier and the Ministers; in whatever meeting they had, for not representing our people, I surely would have.” He continued, “I was very disappointed at the House of Assembly on Thursday when I heard members—afraid to come to the defense of our people in this position.”

Astwood also pointed out that it was not unusual for the country to have a local commissioner, and the record of the last 14 years where the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force (RTCIPF) had been under a foreign national. Citing the government’s desire for results, he said,

”[In] fourteen years, have you seen law enforcement and crime fighting and prevention getting better, getting worse, or has it stayed the same?”

“We have had commissioners and activity commissioners from the Turks and Caicos in the past, did we get results? I would say yes. We’ve had commissioners and deputy commissioners from outside; did we get results? We gave them 14 years, and we’re still saying that we need to bring someone from the outside to give them another 14 years? Are we saying that our local people cannot do the job? I say they can Yes, we can,” he maintained.

Eyre, who is holding the fort for Edvin Martin, Commissioner Designate, will only be in the post for three months; Martin is expected to arrive in May.

Rodney Adams, Deputy Commissioner and Kendall Grant, Assistant Commissioner had both been serving in the post since November, when Trevor Botting demitted the office.

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“Mad Max” Convicted of Murder

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MEDIA RELEASE

 

#TurksandCaicos, April 23, 2024 – Blue Hills resident KENDALL RONDRE DEAN has been convicted of murdering JOSHUA SWANN.

Mr. Dean, also called “Maddie”, “Mad Max”, and “Dre”, was found guilty by a nine-member jury yesterday (April 22nd) in the Grand Turk Supreme Court.

Following the verdict, Mr. Dean was remanded to Her Majesty’s Prison, pending sentencing on 10th June 2024.

Based on the evidence presented, Mr. SWANN of Five Cays was shot multiple times about the body on Sunday, August 8th, 2021, while at North West Point, Providenciales.

Mr. Swann was transported to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Detectives of the Serious Crimes Unit received a report, and following intensive investigations and interviews, Mr. Dean was arrested and subsequently charged.

Shortly after the verdict, Deputy Commissioner of Police Rodney Adams said, “This conviction demonstrates the RTCIPF’s commitment to bringing to justice those who cause the most harm throughout our communities using illegal firearms.

“This is an example of the effective coordination of the various units across the Force in supporting the lead detective in bringing about this conviction. The RTCIPF is grateful for the information provided by witnesses who came forward.

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Airports Authority aims for 24-hour airport and announces Scholarship programme

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Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, April 19, 2024 – In an attempt to move to 24-hour-a-day operations Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority (TCIAA) is steadily recruiting Air Traffic Controllers to work at the Providenciales/Howard Hamilton International Airport, according to Godfrey Smith, TCIAA CEO, reporting to the Appropriations Committee.

Speaking on April 8th Smith said a cabinet paper would be sent soon requesting six more Air Traffic Controllers to make round the clock operation at the Provo International possible and to open the airport in Grand Turk till 12 a.m.

Currently, 17 posts are filled and seven are vacant.

Smith was candid with his responses to recent industrial action from ATCs which led to resignations and firings.

“What we have to do is find systems to mitigate such actions and that has to start with filling these jobs, putting people in that want to work and doing right by people – and we always try to do right by our staff. Persons may not think that we are but we always do – we ain’t pick no fight,” he said in the meetings held at the NJS Francis building ahead of the National Budget Communication.

Smith indicated that recruitment was an issue across the board, ‘we need to find ways to recruit a little bit better’ he told the committee. Also in need of a push was capital spending or projects according to the CEO, who said the agency had ‘not been very good’ at meeting that mark but insisted they had recognized the issue and could do better.

A very important key performance indicator drawn up by the TCIAA is increasing passenger satisfaction at the Howard Hamilton International Airport. For the TCIAA part of this means a 30 percent increase in seating by Q2 of this year.

When queried on if they could even handle this increase the CEO said,

“The fact of the matter is we already have the capacity there. What we need is to make the service a bit better.”

Staff shortages have become such a frustrating issue that the TCIAA is instituting a scholarship program created by Authority Chairman, Selvyn Hawkins

“What the board wants to do is basically allocate $25,000 annually for a scholarship and they’ve approved it already.”

This process would cover tuition and all other costs for one student.

The student would return as a summer intern and other breaks to work at the TCIAA and upon graduation, assume a role at the company.

“We identify a particular skill we need, we go after it and we build capacity that is in a nutshell the nexus of the program,” Smith said.

The Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority (TCIAA) is allocated $49 million this financial year; over $20 million goes to salaries.

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Flow TCI offers Gigabyte Speeds to Customers

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Company delivers fastest speeds nationwide and boosts service reliability

 

PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS AND CAICOS, APRIL 19th, 2024 – More connections, faster speeds and greater support for customers. This is the promise from communications and entertainment provider, Flow TCI, as it embarks on an initiative to provide households with enhanced connections, greater overall reliability and now, for the first time, speeds up to one gigabit person second.

FLOW TCI Country Manager, Joanne Missick shared: “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do. We listen to our customers and want to exceed their demands, so we are focused on delivering unmatched value with customer centric products and services that are future proof. Flow subscribers on our Fibre Extreme package can now access up to one gigabyte speeds and subscribers on our Fibre Plus and Fibre Max package, as of April 1st, are also now benefitting from up to 5x more speeds.”

This is third speed boost for Flow customers in the last two years. This comes under the umbrella of the the Company’s recently launched “Working for You” campaign, where technicians are going into the neighborhoods across the island to conduct repairs, decommission copper cables, and increase the brand’s visibility in local communities.

“To date several neighborhoods have been served by technicians and the company will continue to go across the islands to ensure each neighborhood receives personal attention. We recognize that over the past few months some customers have experienced issues with the quality and delivery of our services. This is not what we stand for. Flow remains committed to providing technology and innovation that enables growth and positively impacts lives”, says, newly appointed Head of Technical Operations, Simeon Thomas.

Thomas adds, “We have been closely monitoring and reviewing every aspect of our network and there is room for improvement across each of the islands. Where we find shortcomings, we are taking concrete actions and assigning our technicians to rapidly make all necessary adjustments and improvements for our customers”.

Flow has made significant investments in expanding and modernizing its infrastructure and delivering a more robust and reliable network paving the way for the country’s digital transformation.

For more information on speed increases visit https://www2.discoverflow.co/turks-and-caicos/price-adjustment-speed-increase on our website.

Thank you for your usual assistance in sharing our stories.

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