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Flashback August 2018: Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Deodat Dulalchan, left, welcomes Police Commissioner Gary Griffith on his first day on the job outside Police Administration Building on Sackville Street, Port-of-Spain. At left, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security Vel Lewis.

In his three years in office, Police Commissioner Gary Griffith has pushed himself, and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), to the forefront of the national psyche.

Having previously served as national security minister under the People’s Partnership government, Griffith is no stranger to the limelight, but during his tenure as commissioner, he has become one of society’s most polarising figures.

To his supporters–a hero dedicated to taking on criminals, but to his critics–a relentless megalomaniac.

On August 6, 2018, Griffith became the country’s first substantive Police Commissioner since former commissioner Dwayne Gibbs resigned in 2012.

The former defence force captain’s appointment came at a time of weakened public confidence in the Police Service.

From 2013 to 2017, according to TTPS statistics provided to Unspun and the Sunday Guardian, the country averaged upwards of 437 murders and 12,160 serious crimes per year. By the time Griffith arrived in office in August, the country was already hurtling towards the 500 murder mark for the first time since 2009. 2018 ended with 517 murders.

The service’s problems extended well beyond the crime fight.

Internally, the service faced long-standing management issues with promotions, discipline, criminality, as well as accounting.

“There will be no honeymoon period. I do not expect any. I have an enormous task, but this is not going to be a Griffith show. I intend to work, as much as possible, with all stakeholders…What I can assure you is that my job and my intention is to ensure public trust and confidence is brought back to the police service,” Griffith said at his unveiling at a national security ministry press conference in August 2018.

“I will be doing much less talk and much more action this time around.”

While Commissioner Griffith kept his promise for action, there has been a lot of talking as well. His no-nonsense, controversial leadership style has been compared to one of the country’s most well-known former commissioners, the late Randolph Burroughs. A comparison Griffith rejected on more than one occasion.

Contract comes to an end August 18, will he get the nod from the PSC?

With Griffith’s contract coming to an end on August 18, of this year, the Police Service Commission (PSC) has a big decision on its hands.

Griffith is seeking another term in office. On June 29, when he announced his decision to reapply for the CoP position, Griffith said he knew that he was hated by some of his own police officers, labelling them the “Hate The Police Squad.”

“Whether you like me or don’t like me, I never came to a job for friends. The day anyone does something to please people or be popular you will lose that calibre of leadership. It’s not trying to be popular, it’s doing the right thing,” Griffith said.

“Yes there are polls where 80 per cent odd of the population has supported me, and I wish to thank you…some of the 20 per cent did not want change and sometimes people benefit from chaos, as it presented opportunities. So by me stopping their actions and business, obviously they will not be happy with me.

“Some of the haters mobilised and used a smear campaign which was unfortunate. But to those haters, yes you have been a very big avenue to help me make this decision. So to all of the persons who hated me, discredited me, tried to attack my family, demonise me, as I stated, I am an independent man. So after speaking to my wife, she has given me permission to state that I intend to reapply for the post of CoP.”

To those who spent the last three years attacking him, Griffith said, “it is because of you, you have strengthened me and my resolve to reapply.”

Four other people have applied for the position of CoP: Senior Superintendent Andre Norton, Acting Senior Superintendent Anand Ramesar, Superintendent Andrew John, and Acting Sergeant Neil Narine.

Who will get the nod from the PSC?

Time will tell, but this media house delved into Commissioner Griffith’s first term in office.

Dr Ramesh Deosaran, criminologist and former chairman of the PSC described Griffith’s three-year tenure as a rock-and-roll exercise.

“I think the last three years under the commissioner was a rock-and-roll exercise, as it were. Ups and downs, and this is not to criticise him. I think he has his personality, as everybody knows.”

Crime statistics

One of the main parameters that police commissioners are judged upon is crime statistics.

According to TTPS figures, in Griffith’s first full year in office, 2019, the number of reported crimes declined by more than 2,500 when compared to 2018.

In keeping with the downward trend, 2020 saw the largest reduction in serious crimes in 30 years. The crime detection rate in both years, however, declined from 2017 and 2018.

Between 2019 and 2020, there was an annual average of 2,263 robberies–544 less than the average between 2013 and 2018.

Robbery detection rates, however, were the lowest since 2013.

Between 2019 and 2020, there was an annual average of 85 kidnappings–15 less than the average between 2013 and 2018.

In one of the most high-profile kidnapping cases, during Griffith’s tenure, the mother of three, Natalie Pollonais was rescued, in September 2018, four days after being kidnapped in San Fernando.

After her rescue, she wrote to the commissioner personally to thank him.

Murders

According to TTPS figures, in 2019, during Griffith’s first term, T&T recorded 536 murders–the highest number since 2008. Of those murders, only 42 were detected–a low detection rate of 7.8 per cent.

In comparison, the second-lowest annual murder detection rate since 2013 was 13.6 per cent.

In 2020, T&T recorded 393 murders–the lowest number since 2012. That year 57 murders were detected, at a rate of 14.5 per cent.

Overall detection rates have remained a significant challenge for the TTPS over the last several years.

PCA complaints

One of the areas that Griffith’s tenure as commissioner has come under intense scrutiny is police-related killings.

Despite this, complaints to the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) in 2019-2020 declined by 32 reports from 2018-2019.

But during 2019-2020, there was a surge in police killings. There were 66 fatal police shootings and 31 non-fatal police shootings–the most recorded in the previous eight annual reports.

Reduction in 2020–policy or pandemic?

In 2020, there were significant declines in overall crimes, murders, robberies, and kidnappings. Some of the declines continued into 2021.

Up until June, according to the TTPS, there were 4,321 crime reports and 177 murders.

But, how much of the decreases in several types of crimes could be attributed to Griffith’s policies, as opposed to the pandemic?

Guardian Media requested an interview with the commissioner earlier this month, but he declined.

He said he did not want to prejudice the selection process for the next commissioner.

Criminologists weigh in

Dr Randy Seepersad

Criminologist Dr Randy Seepersad confirmed that there has been a huge decrease in crimes in T&T.

However, he attributed the decrease to the restriction in movement caused by the pandemic and corresponding public health measures implemented by the Government.

“There’s a drop in crime, but you can’t say the drop in crime is because of the performance of the police service. The drop in crime has to do with lockdown measures. Right, and it’s something scholarship (research) around the world over is showing–that when these lockdown measures were put in place, crime declined,” Dr Seepersad said.

“So, unfortunately, we cannot take the crime measurement to evaluate the performance of the police service or the commissioner in any kind of systematic way.”

Dr Daurius Figueira

Criminologist Dr Daurius Figueira agreed that the decrease could not be attributed to the police service or the commissioner’s policies. He believed the decrease in murders was largely down to a peace agreement between previously warring criminal gangs in Port-of-Spain.

The change, he said, came after the police-involved killing of three men–Israel Clinton, Joel Jacobs, and Noel Diamond–in Morvant on June 27, 2020.

“That was when the new order–the new order of the game in Trinidad and Tobago was expressed in T&T when you had organised demonstrations in Port-of-Spain through conflicted spaces of gangland, where people were moving freely through protesting and today, that peace holds,” Dr Figueira said.

“The traditional heart of gangland is now like slumberland, getting on with making money.”

Comparatively, in 2020, British police reported its biggest annual decrease in crime since 2010. The London School of Economics and Political Sciences reported: “As lockdown measures eased between June and September 2020, crime rates across the country started to rise in most categories, but remained below pre-pandemic levels.”

In a study of 34 states in the United States, the US’s National Commission for COVID-19 and Criminal Justice found that homicide rates declined at the start of the pandemic. However, there was a sharp increase in summer 2020. The Commission stated that while homicides declined from summer 2020 into early 2021, they remained higher than pre-pandemic years.

Closer to home, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Jamaica and Barbados, all recorded fewer murders in 2020 than in 2019.

Dr Ramesh Deosaran

Crime in T&T, according to criminologist Dr Ramesh Deosaran, remains the police service’s Achilles heel. He said it was an issue that has continued into Griffith’s tenure.

“We have a state of emergency, which would imply more people should be indoors–whether you are a criminal or law-abiding citizen–and now we are headed towards 200 murders for the first half of the year…I mean, the first year Gary Griffith came in, the second year, those were the highest rate of murders in the country,” Dr Deosaran said.

“So, serious crimes and murders, the formation of gangs remain as they were. The borders remain porous as they were. So, I just don’t know how to summarise this.”

The criminologist said, however, that it could mean that the country’s crime problems are so complicated and require so many additional resources, that the commissioner will not be able to do things as he would like.

“You need a lot of back-up (sic), in terms of deputies, assistant commissioners, and upper management because, as I said, the detection rates remain the same, gang formation continues to accelerate in particularly vulnerable areas. When you look at the numbers–the accumulation of gangs and ammunition…the arrests being made, white-collar crime…all these major indicators aren’t properly treated as yet,” the former chairman of the PSC said.

“I’m not reflecting this on the commissioner himself because you have a whole police service. You have the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, the Coast Guard.”

SORT

Shortly after entering office, Commissioner Griffith launched his brainchild–the Special Operations Response Team (SORT).

The team’s members, which included former soldiers, were handpicked by the commissioner to tackle elaborate criminal operations.

Live on national television, on December 3, 2018, SORT’s first major bust took place in the affluent neighbourhood of Westmoorings. Four people were arrested and charged with possession for the trafficking of cocaine and marijuana.

The $3.8 million bust would be the first of many highly publicised raids that boosted public confidence in Griffith.

In February 2019, A SORT-led operation allegedly cracked a sex and drug-ring operation in Westmoorings and Ariapita Avenue. 18 suspects were arrested and $5 million was seized.

In October 2019, 69 people–from ages 19 to 70–some held in cages at the Transformed Life Ministry (TLM), Arouca, were rescued during another SORT-led raid, with the help of Guardian Media who obtained crucial information about the activities at TLM over a two-month investigation. The head of the Ministry, Pastor Glen Awong, was charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment and trafficking in persons.

In November 2019, there was another dramatic raid at an affluent neighbourhood–this one in St Clair. Businessman Patrick Aboud Jnr was charged with five offences, including possession of drugs, an illegal firearm, and ammunition.

Then, in September 2020, SORT officers raided the popular Drugs Sou-Sou operation in La Horquetta. Police initially seized $22 million, but the money was given back hours later. Investigations revealed there were police and defence force officers involved in the alleged illegal scheme.

Days after the raid, the operation faced public scrutiny after videos were leaked allegedly showing a member of the team stuffing evidence, allegedly money, into his bulletproof vest.

The video placed Commissioner Griffith on the backfoot.

Although it was a SORT operation, he insisted the accused was not a police officer, but a defence force member. In October 2020, police raided the operation again. They seized more than $7 million in cash, as well as documents and electronics. Four officers were suspended, while 11 others were transferred.

DSS founder Keron Clarke was later charged with two counts of money laundering in early 2021.

SORT also played instrumental roles in many other key investigations and exercises.

But while SORT’s successes were lauded by many, the unit also faced severe criticism from some for its alleged involvement in several fatal police shootings.

In August 2019, 19-year-old Rochyon Ashterman and his girlfriend Kristan Serries were shot dead in a vehicle allegedly by SORT officers in Santa Cruz.

In December 2019, Michael Thomas was killed in Valencia.

In January 2020, SORT officers allegedly shot dead Glean Bain, who was accused of plotting to kill a senior police officer.

In April 2020, three men were killed, while another was left injured in La Canoa.

In May 2020, alleged gang leader Nigel Mayers, aka Dufu, was killed in Morvant. SORT officers claimed that they were shot at first by the men in all the killings. Some residents and relatives of those shot claimed they were innocent and that the SORT officers that were present lied about the circumstances.

In February 2021, however, the deaths of two men had serious consequences for a unit already under the microscope.

Two suspects in the Andrea Bharatt case, Andrew Morris and Joel Balcon, allegedly died while in custody. Morris was arrested by police on January 31, 2021, and died on February, 1. Police claimed he refused medical treatment and food, and died after falling off a chair at the Arima Hospital.

Balcon was arrested on January 31, 2021, and died on February 8 at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex. Police claimed he was injured while trying to escape arrest and subsequently hospitalised. Autopsies revealed that both men died of blunt force trauma.

14 police officers and six soldiers were questioned in connection with their deaths. The incident remains under PCA investigation.

In April, former SORT head Mark Hernandez was charged with misbehaviour in public office concerning the investigation. Pending the outcome of his matter, he was suspended and later replaced by new SORT head Superintendent Roger Alexander in April this year.

According to Dr Figueira, “The manner in which the leadership was changed simply indicates the modus operandi. What is most apparent, to me, is with the change of leadership comes a change in the modus operandi of the unit, which makes it very relevant and potent now.”

Remarkable highs, controversial Lows

Griffith’s term as Police Commissioner has been full of remarkable highs and controversial lows. After Griffith’s first 100 days in office, Dr Ramesh Deosaran gave him a score of eight out of ten.

And, while Deosaran was not prepared to score him again, out of respect for the application process, the criminologist believed Griffith found things more difficult with time.

“Later on, we began to see, and he, himself, began to see the serious challenges in managing an organisation that is complex with such heavy responsibilities and public accountability on one side and the politics on the other side. And, I think he eventually became something of a lone ranger, leaving the police service a little too far behind in my view,” Dr Deosaran said.

“So, you have to judge him as an individual to do the work, but you also have to consider whether the organisation, as a whole, for which he is responsible has succeeded. So, when he tells the public that he got 80 per cent performance–his performance–and 59 per cent went for the police service performance–that gap needs inquiry as to where the police service, the officers themselves, in their evaluation have such a relatively low score.”

Dr Deosaran said, to be ‘very charitable’, Griffith as an individual, in his opinion, may have done well through his passion.

He said the question was whether the commissioner enhanced the values and competencies and performance of the police service as a whole.

“So, that’s a question mark the Police Service Commission will have to evaluate,” Dr Deosaran said.

Some of Griffith’s highs for 2019 included:

*Cracking several human trafficking rings

*Arresting more than 900 people as part of Operation Strikeback

*Rescuing 12 kidnap victims, without a ransom being paid

*Seizing 858 illegal guns, 10,928 rounds of ammunition, and 333.2kg of cocaine

*Reducing the police overtime bill by $70 million

*Closing ‘Emailgate’, plant-like substance gate, the Vincent Nelson matter, and the Calabar Foundation matter

*Promoting 313 police officers

*Suspending 40 0fficers for disciplinary issues

*Issuing 1,892 Firearm User Licences

Some of his highs for 2020 were:

*The lowest murder toll since 2012.

*The largest reduction in serious crimes for 30 years

*34 officers suspended; 24 charged; 20 fired

*79.4 per cent decrease in matters dismissed for complainant non-appearance

*300 officers promoted–starting from the ranks of corporal to assistant commissioner

*Introduction of pepper spray and tasers for officers

*Provided customer relations training for officers

The lows

But there were, of course, the lows.

*Among high-profile clashes with several individuals and organisations, the commissioner went back and forth with the Law Association over multiple matters. These included: his ‘one shot, one kill’ policy, the deaths of the suspects in the Andrea Bharatt case, the Bail Amendment Bill, and the police’s ability to enter private property under the public health ordinance.

*He was also at loggerheads with Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley on the issue of the police’s ability to enter private property under the ordinance. In September 2020, the PM called on police to enforce the public health regulations equally after footage of a private pool party at Bayside Towers, Cocorite, emerged.

In the weeks before the Bayside pool party–in which no people were arrested, police cracked down on several incidents of people partying and sea bathing illegally–during COVID-19 lockdown–including a group of young people who went to bathe at a beach in Sea Lots.

“Persons who are partying and spreading this virus must feel the full brunt of the law in Trinidad and Tobago. It’s not for me to tell the commissioner who to arrest and how to arrest, but as Prime Minister, I could tell the commissioner of Police that the law must apply to protect us in Trinidad and Tobago from those who are not prepared to listen,” Dr Rowley said at a press conference.

However, Commissioner Griffith lambasted the Prime Minister in response, saying the law did not allow for police to intervene at the private property unless it was a paid event, which then legally turns the space temporarily into public property.

“He needs to know his position as chair of the National Security Council, but he continues to make comments about policing and he doesn’t have that authority or knowledge because it’s the second time he has made the error. First when he said the Commissioner doesn’t have the authority to go into supermarkets and banks to try to close them down…then, he came and he did a Michael Jackson, moonwalked, and corrected himself, he’s doing the same thing again,” Griffith said.

“He’s giving the impression to the country that we are selective, we are profiling and we are not doing our jobs, but hypocritically, when we held the 27 persons just next door to Bayside–when they broke the law–breached the regulations, swimming in a public place, tried to escape, hiding and we did not arrest them, he did not have a concern about it.”

Griffith was summoned or invited–depending on who you ask–to a meeting with the Prime Minister. He later apologised for how he responded but maintained he was correct in his interpretation.

*The commissioner also had a running grouse with a popular media house, as well as members of the public on social media. Seemingly for just about every criticism, he could find about himself on social media, he responded. Many online felt his energies would have been better spent on the job rather than responding.

“He has ensured that the Commissioner of Police is very present and vocal in the media…There’s been great emphasis on media image…That’s his way. I just view it. It’s not a traditional way in Trinidad and Tobago, but he will tell you, he’s not a traditional CoP,” Dr Figueira said.

Meanwhile, Dr Deosaran suggested that the commissioner should have been more professional in instances when he was challenged or constructively criticised. According to the former chairman of the PSC, he was one of the many people at the receiving end of the commissioner’s rants.

“The commissioner must take a level of dignity and appropriateness in dealing with the issues,” he said.

“Yes, the media needs the commissioner to respond, always. He has a position and the media would need responses, clarifications and they do that, but to allow the Commissioner or anybody else to descend into personal insults and so on when what is required is a proper discussion on the issues raised for the public interest…I think we have to be guarded against that.”

The test

In his three years, Commissioner Griffith faced accusations from some quarters of being prejudiced against people from impoverished areas. Griffith has vehemently denied the claims.

On June 27, 2020, came, arguably, the commissioner’s biggest test when three men–Israel Clinton, Joel Jacobs, and Noel Diamond–were allegedly shot by police in Morvant. When that footage of the shooting went public, protests erupted across Port-of-Spain. It appeared in the CCTV footage that the men were shot with their hands in the air. The officers, at the scene, maintained they were shot at first.

While there were claims of extrajudicial killings against the police service before this incident, this one sparked widespread outrage–roads and the Beetham Highway were blocked, gunshots were fired, while protesters marched through the capital city. Then, during protests in Sea Lots, a pregnant mother, Ornella Greaves was killed.

Relatives claimed she was shot by an officer, but police denied the claim, saying there was no evidence to prove that theory.

The Morvant-killings protests lasted for three days. In the end, more than 70 people were arrested.

The Police Complaints Authority called for the more than a dozen officers involved to be suspended, but the officers were placed on administrative duty/leave. The incident continues to be investigated by the PCA.

According to Dr Deosaran, the commissioner seemed to be caught between a rock and a hard place following the incident. He said some sections of the community required rigid, robust law enforcement, meaning appropriate use of force. However, he said, if that is implemented in certain areas, the other side will claim that it is too brutal and that community policing is required.

“So the question is what does a commissioner do? I think whatever he or she does, it has to be justifiable and whatever controversy erupts, as long as a commissioner has a proper, viable, justifiable basis, he or she has no worry,” he said.

“There were videos that showed young men with their hands raised who were allegedly still shot. Now, that video is like the one with George Floyd in the United States–which triggered the Black Life Matters Movement. One video creates more than a million stories, and I think that disturbed the process and put the commissioner in a corner, he didn’t know what to do. You are asking for strict law enforcement against people that are called monsters and cockroaches and so on, and when it is applied, it is called too rigid.”

The metrics for selection need to be more transparent

According to Dr Seepersad, three years is too short of a period to judge a commissioner’s performance. He said it takes a considerable amount of time for someone to understand the inner workings of the service, especially someone like Griffith who came from outside of the service.

The criminologist said more systematic evaluations of the police commissioner and the service need to be put in place to offer more transparency to the process.

“There should be systematic evaluations carried on by two bodies: One is the Ministry of National Security and the other is the Police Service Commission. All too often what we see is that these types of bodies don’t necessarily collect systematic information based on different predefined measurements. And so, don’t necessarily evaluate the performance of a particular person or entity in a very systematic way and that causes a problem,” he said.

According to Dr Seepersad, there are different dimensions that one can use to evaluate performance.

These include crime figures, management capacity, cost efficiency, and disciplinary procedures.

“The unfortunate thing is that these types of evaluations if they are even done, are not necessarily made public. They are not public documents, unlike in many other countries. If you look at the United States and England and many other countries, especially the developed ones, these types of evaluations are made public,” he said.

“It’s in the public domain because the office of the commissioner, as well as the police service, is a public entity. So, it helps with accountability. It helps with transparency.”

The criminologist said evaluations of the police service do not typically happen systematically in T&T.

“What happens is that, sometimes, they use the most obvious data available which is crime data. I say, unfortunately, because crime rates aren’t only a matter of the functioning of the office of the commissioner of police or police service. There are many, many factors outside of the control of the police service that could affect crime rates,” Dr Seepersad lamented.

In the absence of systematic data, he said, it is practically impossible for him to accurately review Griffith’s performance. He added that the last time a systematic evaluation was done was under former chairman Dr Deosaran.

Dr Deosaran agreed that the selection metrics for the commissioner ought to be made more transparent by the service commission.

“This is not to break any confidentiality, but the public, given the nature of the position of commissioner of police and the implications and consequences for the public’s interest…I think there should be more transparency provided by the Police Service Commission,” he said.

“I know there is some hesitancy because of the particular exercise of measuring a senior officer but the greater interest would fall on the public interest side.”

A commissioner’s performance should be judged on four things that have plagued the police service for many years, according to Dr Figueira.

He called them the four horsemen of the police apocalypse.

The first horseman, he said, is promotions.

“What we have now is this curious hybrid–where you are promoted on the pleasure of the Commissioner of Police, and that doesn’t solve the problem because we need a system of promotion that is based on merit and performance,” he said.

“For us to have retention in the police service and for us to attract new talent in the police service continuously, the promotion has to be based on job performance. There have been promotions under the present commissioner, but we are still looking towards the establishment.”

Secondly, according to Dr Figueira, a commissioner should be judged on how they handled internal discipline in the service. He said the discipline structure in the police has collapsed and that the service’s discipline tribunal must be brought back to life.

“There has been no attempt to breathe life into it. The only talk we had for three years is to change the terms and conditions of service to enable the Commissioner of Police to dismiss people wherever they have been found short of the law, but that doesn’t solve the problem because, during the daily operation of the police service, we are going to have issues of discipline that arise that has to go through due process of law,” he said.

According to Dr Figueira, the third criteria is command and control. He said this remains a grave problem.

“Remember the public statement by the Prime Minister on $20 million for SUVs and how the motor vehicles are consumed over two years and put out as derelict and new ones are bought again? That is a command and control issue,” he said.

“So, the solution offered to T&T to solve the problem is to buy bigger vehicles. What you all have to understand is that technology doesn’t solve problems. So, to keep talking about technology, technology doesn’t solve basic operational problems. It’s human management that has to solve problems of management.”

The fourth and final criteria to judge a commissioner, according to Dr Figueira, is the management of corruption and organised crime in the service.

He said every police service in the world, because of the power it yields, has to deal with corrupt practices.

“You have to constantly monitor that agency–both internally and externally–to make sure you negate the tendency towards corrupt practices. If you fail to do that, then you get organisational crime developing within the agency,” Dr Figueira said.

“If you have a police service in a trans-shipping region for the illicit drug trade, the burden becomes even greater because of the ability of the transnational drug trade to corrupt with the wealth they command. So, you have repeated instances, and that is largely the cry from the public in their interactions with the police service.”

According to the criminologist, aspects of the issues he listed have gotten worse under Griffith’s tenure.

Nonetheless, despite this belief, he believed there could be a legitimate argument that Griffith deserves another term in office.

“You have the argument in favour, stating that when the present commissioner came in, we were in the midst of a blood-letting spree. So, it was a holding operation. To date, the blood-letting spree has abated. So, now, you have the breathing space to command the reform process. You can make that argument,” he said.

Dr Deosaran believes the police service has never been as visible or controversial as it has been in the last three years.

“There are some good things and things that are not so good. That experience, I think the Police Service Commission and the Government should look back and see what was good to keep–the commissioner’s passion and his enthusiasm–you would need somebody like that, whoever it is,” he said.

“I think along the way he has come face-to-face with some serious challenges and if you notice what the Police Service Commission put out in its advertisement, we will see the extent of the responsibilities a police commissioner has. He has to be more detailed and I don’t think Gary Griffith is a man for details. He’s more of a macro manager. He might be good, so what he needs, or whoever comes into the office for three years would need, is some strong backup to supplement the passion of the commissioner.”

A hero to some, an aggravation to others–it is clear that Commissioner Griffith divides public opinion. But it would not be the public who ultimately decides his fate. That decision lies in the hands of the PSC.