Former national security minister is new Trinidad police commissioner
PORT OF SPAIN – Former national security minister, Gary Griffith, on Friday began his first day in office as Trinidad and Tobago police commissioner promising to reduce crime and rebuild the respect of the local police service.
“I am here to serve my God, my country and the citizens of this great country. As I stated before there will be no honeymoon period and I do not expect any. This is not going to be the Gary Griffith show. I intend to work as hard as possible with all the relevant stakeholders to ensure that the most fundamental rights of citizens of this country are protected,” Griffith said.
Griffith, who was given the nod for the top post within the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) by Parliament last month, said in order to do this, he must secure the public trust and confidence.
“My commitment . . . is the fact that there will be much less talk and much more action this time around,” Griffith said, at the ceremony held at the Ministry of National Security.
He said that he was fully aware of the broad responsibilities of his appointment as well as the difficulties he may encounter in achieving his goals.
“The role and function of the (Commissioner) is to deal with management and leadership of the organisation. But it is not something to be done by yourself,” said Griffith, who took over from Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams, who had been in the post since 2012 when the Canadian Dwayne Gibbs resigned after a fallout with the then People’s Partnership government.
Williams was among candidates by-passed by the Parliament for the top post.
“There are already experts in the field, both in the organisation and on this table, who I will be consulting with in the future. I know I have to prove my worth to the TTPS and respect is something that is earned,” said Griffith, a former captain in the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, and who also served as special advisor to then Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar.
“So just being Commissioner of Police . . . it doesn’t say anything until I prove myself to the many good men and women in the TTPS. And I intend to show that maturity and that leadership and I will act in that responsible manner.
“I can assure you that there are many initiatives and policies that will be implemented to ensure the reduction in crime as well as the perception and fear of crime. But it will be done through working relationships, my own knowledge and the expertise of many men and women in the TTPS who can give input,” said Griffith, who was dismissed by Persad Bissessar at the height of allegations against former attorney general Anand Ramlogan, who is now facing charges of perverting the course of justice.
National Security Minister Stuart Young, who was present the ceremony thanked Williams for his dedication and service to country.
“We had Mr Stephen Williams in an acting position for about six years . . . I would like to take the opportunity as a citizen of T&T, then as the representative of the Government, and hopefully as representative of the people of this country, to personally thank, on all our behalf, Mr Stephen Williams for playing the role and performing the role and doing his utmost best in the role in trying circumstances in the last six years.” (CMC)