National Security Minister Jack Warner told the local media that he has invited former New York Police Chief Bill Bratton, known as “Mr Zero Tolerance”, to lecture Trinidad and Tobago lawmen.
Mr Live Wire was unreliably informed that reporters broke into hysterical laughter at the notion that someone referred to as “Zero Tolerance” would return Warner’s call let alone agree to be his guest.
Bratton is an acclaimed crime fighter who was key in implementing the “broken windows” approach in which New York officers focused attention on punishing petty crimes so as to transform the mentality of the city towards wrongdoing. It ultimately led to a remarkable decrease in violent crime.
It is uncertain whether such a philosophy might work under a National Security Minister who is himself under investigation from the Trinidad and Tobago police and the alleged subject of FBI inquiries.
Still, Mr Live Wire hopes Bratton has better luck than the last ace New York crime fighter that came to Trinidad.
Bernard Kerik, another former NYPD police commissioner, was Warner’s guest to Trinidad in January 2007. Ten months later, Kerik was charged and subsequently convicted for conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and lying to the IRS. At present, Kerik is incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institute in Cumberland, Maryland.
A year before Kerik landed in Piarco, he had pleaded guilty to two ethical violations including accepting a gift from a construction firm that was trying to do business in New York. It appears safe to say Warner was not a believer in zero tolerance when he invited Kerik although the Chaguanas West MP is very liberal in his beliefs, inclusive of his religious, ethical and political ideology.
Apart from Kerik, Bratton should be warned that Canada-born former Trinidad and Tobago Police Commissioner Dwayne Gibbs found himself unemployed just two months after he tried, against the DPP’s advice, to close local investigations into Warner.
Mr Live Wire believes that, for senior policemen, snuggling up to Warner is as useful to their long-term career prospects as a yard fowl inviting Colonel Sanders to a weekend retreat.