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The Police Service Social and Welfare
Association has thrown its full support
behind new National Security Minister
Gary Griffith, saying there will be an
open door policy between the associa-
tion and the minister.
After three months, however, the asso-
ciation intends to review Griffith s per-
Making the statement yesterday was
the association s secretary, acting Insp
Michael Seales, who added that with
Griffith s extensive background in law
enforcement, he should have a greater
appreciation of the challenges of police
"We welcome Minister Griffith, as we
are committed to working with any min-
ister of national security," Seales said.
"We, the Police Service, as the premier
law enforcement body, have many issues
to discuss with Mr Griffith.
"We know Mr Griffith brings to the
table a wealth of experience and expertise
and we want to establish very good rela-
tions with him. We believe he has a lot
to offer. But after three months the hon-
eymoon would be over for Mr Griffith."
Shortly after Griffith was announced
as the replacement for Emmanuel George
on Thursday, the new National Security
Minister said: "Enough talk. The time
for action is now."
This statement has been endorsed by
Seales said among the burning issues
they hope to immediately address with
Griffith were the slow pace of promotions,
the regularisation of Special Reserve Police
Officers (SRPs) and the low morale in the
"Immediately on the heels of that,
Minister Griffith must now understand
there were concerns which were being
addressed by the former minister that
have not been totally resolved as yet and
I believe these matters must be looked
at as soon as possible," Seales said.
He said in the past there were many
cosmetic approaches to crime-fighting
and the time for that has ended.
Expressing confidence that Griffith
would use a "concentrated effort" to bring
about "positive changes in the Police
Service and in the country," Seales said
he hoped the association would be includ-
ed in the decision making process.
Contacted yesterday, Griffith said
among his "front burning issues" was to
meet with the association to bring all
outstanding issues to a close. Saying,
however, that he had not "sat in the chair
as yet," Griffith said it was a position he
was "quite comfortable with."
"I have a fair working knowledge of
security. I am fully aware of the concerns.
I know most of those individuals in the
law enforcement agencies and I want that
relationship to continue to be cordial,"
Griffith said. "Those officers are the ones
ister is to ensure they have the proper
equipment, proper training and the proper
policies for them to go ahead and imple-
Police body behind Griffith for now
Natiional Security Minister Gary Griffith, right, talks with reporters after being swron in
at President's House, St Ann's yesterday. With him is new Communications Minister
Gerald hadeed. PHOTO: BRIAN NG FATT
Grace period for
Security Minister From Page A1
"We already know what is required, what we
need to go out and do now is to implement," he
He said it took much more than blimps and
OPVs to prevent crime and he will also be looking
more at the social issues.
Griffith said he also did not intend to overstep
his boundaries and would allow the law enforcement
agencies, who he claimed were the "frontline," to
do their job.
Asked about the public distrust of law enforce-
ment officers, Griffith said he will address the issue
and if necessary weed out the rogue elements in
the law enforcement services.
"I would put it as a contract between citizens
of T&T and the law enforcement officers, where
the citizens will say, I will provide you with the
information that you require, once you treat me
with respect and you listen to me and you work
for me, and the police will say, I am here to work
for you, but you need to give me that information
and the trust that I require, " he said.
"We need to get to that trust of the people in
the Police Service and if it involves putting in
mechanisms to weed out the rogue elements in
the service, then so be it."
Asked if he felt his involvement in the police
probe on the alleged Section 34 e-mails read in
Parliament in May by Opposition Leader Dr Keith
Rowley would not represent a conflict of interest
or compromise his position, Griffith said only that
he found the comments on the matter unfortu-
"We need to stop dealing with red herrings and
start to look at the issue," he said.
"Poor Mr Rowley, he was set up. I have a job
their job is to say things because the role of the
Opposition is to oppose, well that is a pity."
He said he intended to go to the Opposition and
ask them to come on board and work as a team
to reduce crime.
Griffith was sworn in along with along with new
Minister in the Ministry of Gender and Child Devel-
opment Raziah Ahmed and Communications Min-
ister Gerald Hadeed.
In an interview afterwards, Persad-Bissessar said
she had these words for Griffith: "You better smile
while we are taking these photos, it might be your
last smile as the hard work hits you."
She expressed confidence in the new members
of her Government, adding that she had known
the three for a long time and trusted they would
do a good job.
Griffith says he
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