Griffith: TTPS always had vetted units

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Griffith: TTPS always had vetted units

The Prime Minister’s call for vetted units in the police service to address rogue elements is nothing new, says former Police Commissioner, Gary Griffith.

During a public meeting in San Fernando on Saturday, PM Dr Keith Rowley said the time has come for a vetted unit, paid more than others, with their “integrity intact” to address rogue police, corrupt politicians, immigration and customs officers.

In response, Griffith said while he led the police service from 2018 to 2021, he implemented measures to weed out corrupt police officers.

“This was always there. We always had vetted units. We had the special branch, we had the SIU, we had the white-collar crime unit, we had SORT. These people are all vetted, polygraph tested then we monitored their finances, to make sure that they are not on the take. That is what I had, it was there before.”

SORT was disbanded last year after the US government raised concerns that it was involved in the deaths of two murder suspects while in police custody and could have led to the police service not receiving assistance from the US for training and other support.

Speaking on Sunday, Griffith blamed politics for the disbanding of the units he created. He said because of his vetting processes, he was able to address the $300 million annual overtime bill while maintaining police visibility, increased public perception and reduced crime rate.

He said with the disbanding of these units, rogue elements were allowed to “take back over” the police service.

“Trying to put a vetted unit to vet the police who’s going to vet the vetted unit and then who’s going to vet them? It is totally ridiculous. The system was there it was working and that is why public trust and confidence in the police moved from 14 per cent to 55 per cent, we were cleaning out the rogue elements and the country started feeling comfortable and began to understand that the police service was not above the law and the rogue elements were being removed.”