National Security Minister Stuart Young has given Police Commissioner Gary Griffith an “A” grade for his sterling performance as top cop, promising that for the new year citizens would see a more serious approach to crime fighting.
Young rated Griffith’s performance during a tour yesterday at the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) headquarters in San Juan, where he thanked scores of officers for working on Christmas Day and giving their dedication and commitment.
Young told the officers that they have the full backing and support of his ministry, as he pleaded with them not to be dragged over on the wrong side while undertaking their duties.
“That is never an option. As you go out there and perform your duties and you take more firearms and drugs off the streets that is something we are grateful for,” Young told the officers.
Asked by Guardian Media how he would assess Griffith performance, Young smiled, while Griffith blushed at times.
Since Griffith’s appointment in August, Young said he has had a great working relationship with him while there has been a dynamic interaction taking place with heads of security agencies and Griffith who plays an important role.
Such interactions, Young said, has led to a boost of morale among officers.
“From a KPI (key performance indicator) point of view so far, he is way ahead. I am sure he will continue to maintain it.”
While Young said the public has been backing Griffith in carrying out his tasks, the top cop has also been faced with a lot of pressure.
“In 2019, I expect to see some progress....serious progress,” Young assured.
Asked to give a rating on Griffith’s performance as the year comes to a close, a smiling Young turned to Griffith who was grinning from ear-to-ear and asked “Gary what to tell them? At this stage it is still early...it is four months. Certainly, at this stage, he is an A.”
With the murder rate crossing 500 in 2018, Griffith said his mandate for 2019 was to provide safety and security for T&T’s citizens.
“I think 2019 is going to be a big year in Trinidad and Tobago. We can very well see a turnaround.”
Griffith said his officers are willing to put their lives on the line for the country.
“Rather than us always trying to degrade, condemn and criticise them I think what we should be doing is commending them for what they have been doing.”
The top cop also gave the IATF officers an 11 out of ten grading in fighting crime.
Reporter: Shaliza Hassanali