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Griffith’s eyes now set on PM post

Former Police Commissioner, Gary Griffith says he is now focussed on the Office that Keith Rowley now holds.

In a statement on Friday, Griffith said: “The new Police Service Commission has changed the criteria of the application process for the selection of a new Commissioner of Police, which basically makes it that only career police officers can apply. If this was done to satisfy the political will of Keith Rowley and Fitzgerald Hinds, which as everyone knows is to prevent me from reapplying for the post, let me say that these efforts were not warranted, since I’ve long moved on and I’m now fully focused on the Office Keith Rowley now holds.”

He said “…This new tactic by the present PSC, ignores the many achievements attained under my tenure, and it debars persons like myself, who are heavily qualified and capable of leading the TTPS, from even applying for the CoP post.
Interestingly this new direction that the PSC is taking actually contradicts the PM’s February statement on “archaic public service”, where he suggested private sector experts should be considered, albeit at the time he constrained his remark to Permanent Secretary posts but this could apply to any public sector worker. He further cited poor decision making on the part of public service officers who merely came up the ranks based on “seniority.”

“A retrograde step that takes us back to the days of Stephen Williams, it also ignores international precedents from other countries and jurisdictions like Jamaica and New York City respectively, where Jamaica has a member of their Defence Force heading their Police, and New York City doesn’t not even allow serving members of their police department to be CoP, in order to avoid issues of collusion and corruption borne out of familiarity.”

Griffith said the most egregious aspect of this new move by the PSC however, is that it ignores the will of the people who saw what someone from outside the service could do in reducing crime by record numbers, and who made them feel safe and secure from the tyranny that they now face daily from the criminals in our midst.

He added: “I am proud of the results attained during my tenure as Commissioner, but having moved on, there may have been others outside the TTPS who may have the capabilities to continue to lead the TTPS forward. Instead the new PSC has now reduced the pool of applicants instead of increasing it, as logic dictates. But most importantly they ignore the FACT that, in modern policing, the most important element to get the best results, is not that one must be a police officer, but that one should possess the right leadership qualities to get the job done.”

“What this action by the new PSC shows as well, is the flaws in our Constitution, which gives the Prime Minister too much power, such as the ability to appoint the President who in turn appoints persons to Service Commissions like the PSC; who are all beholden to the will of the PM.”

Griffith noted, “Having now seen and experienced this with 3 consecutive PSC’s; firstly the UNC appointed PSC moving me to 4th on the Merit list despite me topping all 8 assessments for a total of 89.14%, the Bliss Seepersad PSC illegally withdrawing another merit list I topped, and now this new PSC making policy that aligns with the desires of Rowley; I can say that constitutional change is badly needed.”