Transformation needed in Trinidad and Tobago


Gary Griffith –

Former police commissioner Gary Griffith says he is not surprised by the Police Service Commission (PSC) decision to restart the selection process for a new commissioner.

He described the decision as an abuse of a flawed Consitution.

A media release from the PSC on Thursday announced the new selection process would begin with Legal Notice No 277 of 2021 being considered.

The notice which was issued in November facilitates a fresh search for a CoP and Deputy Commissioner. This means the merit list for Commissioner of Police done by the previous PSC will no longer apply.

The notice also changes the process to appoint an acting CoP, limiting that to certain ranks of officers in the T&T Police Service and not contracted people.

In a video sent to Newsday via WhatsApp, Griffith said there appeared to be no independent oversight of the procedure and likened the changes to a “moving goalpost.”

Griffith said the decision was evidence that an overhaul of the country’s Constitution and leadership was needed to prevent misbehaviour.

“The crux of the matter remains we need to begin to take action on the root cause of the many of our nation’s crises, two of which include leadership, or lack of (it), and our obsolete Constitution.”

He said they went hand in hand and had both been weighed, measured and found wanting.

“There is indeed need for transformation in this country. Soon there will be need for a national transformation movement.”

He added that despite earning top marks in his annual assessments and improving the public perception of the police during his tenure, there was still opposition to his return as commissioner.

He referred to recent events surrounding the selection process as “dictatorship by law.”

He also noted an increase in serious crimes and murders since he left office.

“In the last five months since my departure, murders have spiked the highest ever in over 13 years.

“The question the national community should now ask is, ‘What is to stop similar occurrences where laws are crafted simply to suit absolute political agenda?’

“Where is the voice of the people in this democracy?

“We are experiencing a rapid decline in our rights and freedom quickly being replaced by mandates and dictates supported by a glaring absence of leadership by example.”

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