Police Commissioner Gary Griffith

Rhondor Dowlat-Rostant

Four days after he applied for his first vacation leave since becoming Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith was given the green light to proceed for a month, where he plans to spend some time in Ireland with his son, Gary Griffith III.

Griffith sought permission to leave the country in his application letter for leave to Minister of National Security Stuart Young via a letter dated September 25, 2020.

The letter read: “I refer to Regulation 83 (2) of the Police Service Regulations, 2007 and heartily apply for 21 working days’ vacation leave to cover the period October 2, 2020 to November 1, 2020 inclusive. During the period of my leave, I intend to travel to Ireland …”

Griffith also gave a contact number and an email address of where he can be contacted whilst out of the country.

Yesterday, a rumour began circulating on social media that the Police Service Commission (PSC) had met and a decision was taken to send Griffith on “administrative leave with immediate effect.” But well-placed sources within the T&T Police Service (TTPS) confirmed that was false.

TTPS corporate communications head Francis Joseph confirmed that acting Deputy Commissioner of Police McDonald Jacob will act as commissioner from Friday.

Jacob is currently on leave and is expected to return to work this week.

Via a release yesterday, the PSC said Griffith will be proceeding on vacation leave from October 2- November 1, 2020.

As a consequence, it said Jacob will act in the office of Commissioner of Police for the above mentioned period.

When contacted last evening, Griffith said it was time for him to recharge.

“Weeks ago, I communicated with the PSC requesting same (vacation leave). Every week for the last two years, there has always been an urgent national issue that made it difficult for me to leave,” Griffith said.

“Since November last year, from Local Government Elections to Christmas to Carnival to cover crisis to the plans by elements to loot to General Elections, I had to keep postponing. Eighteen hours a day, seven days a week for two years – yeah! Time for me to recharge.”

Griffith also said in his absence he will not be “giving up the ship (meaning the TTPS).”

“I would be very active daily and will be looking closely at all high profile cases and will be ensuring that the ball doesn’t drop.”