Gary Griffith

Former Police Commissioner Gary Griffith is alleging political interference in the running of the Police Service.

He made the claim in a statement on Monday.

“If at any time our nation has seen deliberate political interference in the running of the Police Service, it is today.

It has come to my attention that every single contract of persons that I hired, is being terminated, with immediate effect.

On the heels of an announcement about reviewing of contracts at the TTPS, by the line minister, during a parliamentary debate, and a hit-piece in yesterday’s Sunday Express newspapers, every single right thinking citizen should be very concerned that the hierarchy of the TTPS appears to have been pressured to take directives, to execute a well orchestrated plan.

It is inconceivable to think that the TTPS hierarchy would terminate every single contract of persons that I appointed, without a directive, especially given the fact that these individuals were at the heart of the remarkable numbers, and public sentiment turn around, that the TTPS has enjoyed in the past couple of years, under my watch.

This includes, the development of the 21st century systems, such as the TTPS App, and online reporting, the development of the Commissioner’s command centre, the implementation of dashboard cameras, and X-ray vehicles, which allows the TTPS to see weapons and drugs in vehicles traversing the nation’s roadways.

This is especially egregious, because of what I shared earlier, detailing the fact that the identified contractors performed beyond expectation, and they did so for less money than the contractors, during the tenure of the previous head of the TTPS.

We often hear the term dismantling of the National Security apparatus being bandied about, but what is occurring before our eyes, is just that, because while assets such as an OPV is important, hypocritically, some appear to be bent on devaluing the human resource capital, which is even more pivotal to the success of all of the TTPS’s functions.

This purging that is happening at the TTPS, reminds me of what occurs after election campaigns, where personnel on state boards are discarded, regardless of if they performed admirably or not.

This is a logical conclusion that perhaps alludes to a witch hunt, that is born out of petty vindictiveness, which is made even more glaring because individuals were fired on the spot, without the involvement of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of National Security, the person responsible for terminating contracts.

There will be temptation to explain this as budgetary cuts, but this is a bogus argument, since ONLY the civilian staff hired by me are being terminated, and their contracts are being paid off, which means the taxpayers will be footing a bill for no work.

Also, it would mean that the TTPS will either hire new contractors, or they will put these jobs in the hands of officers, who are not trained or qualified to undertake these specialized tasks.

The reason these jobs were in the hands of civilians for over a decade, is because the TTPS recruitment mechanism does not cater to these specific fields of endeavour, which is why most of the persons hired were poached from the private sector.

I do express sympathy for the hierarchy of the TTPS however, because I myself also faced pressure, just a few months ago, from a government official who wanted me to appoint a constable to head the Cyber Crimes Unit, which is responsible for the interception of electronic data, including that from phones.

I rejected the attempts to exert pressure, and perhaps this is the price I am now paying.

Whilst this act negatively impacts the good and decent individuals, who answered the call to serve, including the person hired to take care of the new hockey grounds, whose only ‘crime’ was being employed by me; in the end, such actions could never augur well for the morale and operational capabilities of the TTPS, which leaves me deeply concerned about how this will impact the safety and security, of all our nation’s citizens.”