“[CoP] Gary Griffith’s penchant for engaging mouth before putting brain in gear will erode the goodwill we all have in store for him. He must understand that thinking more, talking less, empathising more and roughing up less, will help overall to soothe a nation in crisis and pain.”
In the following Letter to the Editor, former TIDCO chairman Brian Harry offers words of advice for new Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith:
At 56 years of age, Trinidad and Tobago is still trying to find a place of mutual engagement for all our diversity and for all our conversations. This is the work of leadership—at every level—including every one of us. Modern and progressive leaders must demonstrate a strong leaning toward integrity, empathy and transparency, as they focus on the real work to deliver results, build coalitions, nurture teamwork, and shape and communicate the long view.
Gary Griffith, who has recently stepped up and taken the reigns of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, has to be an example of this. He has find the right balance and timing between empathy and tough military tactics.
Gary’s penchant for engaging mouth before putting brain in gear will erode the goodwill we all have in store for him. He must understand that thinking more, talking less, empathising more and roughing up less, will help overall to soothe a nation in crisis and pain. A nation where trust in persons and institutions of authority is low.
And, importantly, a nation with little trust in the TTPS.
Of course, target the criminals with the appropriate force under the law, but your greatest show of force thus far has been against unarmed UWI students. This should have elicited a statement of empathy not a “buff” about being “Rottweilers of aggression not pothounds of nothing.”
This was an opportunity to meet with the students and assure them that their safety concerns have been heard, while issuing a stern warning about breaking the law and the most effective way to be heard. You missed an opportunity, a teachable moment!
Our beloved CoP yesterday again weighed in on “fake news on social media”. Why?
As responsible persons, we are all concerned about fake news (lies and gossip) and the rapid and wide dissemination of such. Our crime fighting leader, however, must search deep to find and allocate the discipline to prioritise, as there are many bigger fish to fry.
An appropriate test, which he can apply himself, is to ask “who cares?” His warning about fake news would not have been the first one, yet thus far very few have been prosecuted. Gary would be better served finding and delivering low hanging fruit, so as to boost public confidence in his troops. Pick your battles!
Gary, this is time for love! And, yes tough love is still love, when well placed. It is also time to listen, learn, and lead!