Home / View Point / Letters to the Editor / Griffith: “If my critics [are] that desperate… I am on the right track!” CoP responds to Fixin’ T&T, Express and TTPSSWA

Griffith: “If my critics [are] that desperate… I am on the right track!” CoP responds to Fixin’ T&T, Express and TTPSSWA

Fixin’ T&T: “Any attempt to condition the public to accept Police dressed in military style fatigues as ‘normal’ must be immediately stopped. Militarisation of our Police Service is a giant step towards becoming a military state.

“[…] This Commissioner seemingly has nothing but contempt for process and infinitely more dangerous, due process.”

Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith: “While the country is asking the police to reduce crime, certain entities continue to focus on what I wear, while criminals are focusing on disrupting the lives and safety of law abiding citizens and threatening peace, law and order.”

The following are two releases sent by Fixin’ T&T on a potential violation of the law by Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith and Griffith’s response:

Photo: Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith (right) and soca star Machel Montano.
(Copyright TTPS)

(Media Release on 20 February 2019: Full statement issued by FIXIN’ T&T on the use of military style fatigues by the TTPS)

Any attempt to condition the public to accept Police dressed in military style fatigues as ‘normal’ must be immediately stopped. Militarisation of our Police Service is a giant step towards becoming a military state.

FIXIN’ T&T will robustly resist any such endeavour by this or any other Commissioner of Police. FIXIN’ T&T calls for the urgent intervention of Police Service Commission and the Minister of National Security to put an end to this insanity.

Further, if CoP Gary Griffith’s decision to outfit himself and other Police Officers with military style fatigues was not made in accordance with TTPS regulations, it would be symptomatic of and consistent with, a much more deeply rooted issue.

This Commissioner seemingly has nothing but contempt for process and infinitely more dangerous, due process.

What other processes are being breached? Is proper evidence being gathered prior to arrests being made? Are the relevant warrants being secured before entering and searching premises? Recent events suggest that the answer may very well be no.

FIXIN’ T&T remains relentlessly committed to due process, rule of law, natural justice and the enshrined rights of every citizen to freedom of speech, expression and association.

Photo: Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith.

(Open letter to CoP Gary Griffith and National Security Minister Stuart Young on camouflage military style fatigues being worn by the CoP and other Police Officers)

Dear Commissioner and Minister,

Click HERE to access the Police Service Regulations, 2007.

  • See page 1240 for PartXI (Uniform, Equipment, Arms, Stores, Etc) Section 121.
  • See pages 1279-1288 for Appendix C and D.
  1. Has (Have) the prescribed process(es) been adhered to and completed inclusive of any “approval” granted, being gazetted?
  2. If yes to question 1, kindly and simply provide the supporting documentation.
  3. Further, Commissioner Griffith; please provide the requisite documentation on the procurement of said “uniforms” inclusive of:
  • Request for quotations
  • Quotations received
  • Name of supplier(s)
  • Number of “uniforms” supplied
  • Total amount paid and to which person/entity (if applicable).
  • Date of payment and from where payment was made (if applicable).

We look forward to your urgent attention to and unequivocal clarification of this matter.

Photo: Police Commissioner Gary Griffith (second from left) accompanies Port of Spain Mayor Joel Martinez (far right) and DOMA president Gregory Aboud (centre) on a walkthrough the capital in December 2018.
(Copyright TTPS)

(COP: Let them focus on what I wear, my focus is to secure the country)

Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith insists he and officers of specialised units of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) have not violated the Police uniform.

Commissioner Griffith has taken note of the article published in today’s Trinidad Express newspaper pointing to his decision to wear the digital kit. However, wearing the kit on several high risk operations and exercises does not constitute a violation, as is the claim of certain detractors.

Having said that, the CoP is not surprised that these detractors would be making attempts to focus on what he wears instead of the job he continues to do by effecting strategies within the Police Service to secure this country.

Therefore “while the country is asking the police to reduce crime, certain entities continue to focus on what I wear, while criminals are focusing on disrupting the lives and safety of law abiding citizens and threatening peace, law and order.”

Commissioner Griffith says days after encouraging certain arms of the media against glamorising persons of interest by giving them prominence, several polls were conducted and the vast majority in every poll agreed that the media should be careful against sensationalising and glamorising and to provide balanced articles.

Photo: Police Commissioner Gary Griffith (left) poses for a photograph with a supporter.
(Courtesy TTPS)

It is apparent that instead of exhibiting maturity and accepting these recommendations, certain entities intend to ‘prove a point’, as if to say no one must tell them how to do their jobs including the public—even though this is what they do to others on a daily basis.

The very next day to prove its point, the Trinidad Express blasts a headline story about a person of interest, who faces over 20 charges, including sexual and other offences.

The Express glamorises his concern and his excuses for his own lifestyle by blaming the police and others for his own actions.

Further, as it pertains to Anand Ramesar’s agenda, one wonders whether he is speaking on behalf of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Social Service and Welfare Association (TTPSSWA) or himself, as the Commissioner is not aware that the Association held any such meeting to discuss this matter.

As a matter of fact, the TTPSSWA is fully aware that certain units in the TTPS have work camouflage for decades. It must be noted that Multi-Operational Police Section (MOPS), have worn this uniform for over 20 years and this was never a concern by Anand Ramesar, who now has a concern.

Photo: TTPSSWA executive members (from left) Michael Seales, Anand Ramesar and Roger Alexander.
(Copyright TTPS)

Additionally, it is the same TTPSSWA that submitted requests for digital camouflage uniforms to be worn. His comments are now very mischievous. The Police Uniform Committee has also submitted and recommended this uniform; and to further clarify, one would note that when the CoP wears the kit, he doesn’t wear it with police insignia or markings.

The Commissioner of Police states the comments by Ramesar are just another ‘red herring’ being thrown at him, given that Ramesar himself is photographed wearing the kit.

The Commissioner also notes the comments of the ‘one man’ activist group, Fixing T&T. It seems their way to Fix T&T is to send releases about the CoP by sending over 23 releases at an average of one per week for the last six months; the last release being about the Police Red Alert.

Fixing T&T continues to refuse to state who else he represents or who is speaking on behalf of. However, in spite of his attempts at constant distractions, the TTPS and the wider population has noted that the Red Alert strategy has yielded positive results, by ensuring that for the first time in over a decade, not one shot was fired in any hot spot community in this country. He seems disturbed about this.

The Commissioner says, “I have been briefed that there are very strong forces that would use all my arms to try and deflect my focus on doing my job; and they would come from all avenues. I therefore ask members of the public to be conscious of these actions by different elements and you have my assurance that I will not be swayed to the sidelines to deal with their irrelevant attempts to adhere to their agendas.”

Photo: Police Commissioner Gary Griffith (right) and National Security Minister Stuart Young.
(Copyright Ministry of National Security)

The CoP states, “If my critics have become that desperate to the point that this is the irrelevant matter that they want to talk about and also to put as a front page story, then I know that I am on the right track in performing my duties.”

Commissioner Griffith strongly advises, “Do not focus on what I wear, while I put my life on the life. Instead be part of the solution by avoiding sensationalism and glamorising criminals.”

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14 comments

  1. One day I want to learn by name and concept the trini psychology and penchant to dismiss and deride ALL into irrelevance, because the previous was worse.

    By that logic, let everything pass, Hence, Trinidad 2019.

    When I saw the cnc3 still of him in fatigue, I noted it was military grooming

  2. fixin tnt is 1 man, you have to wonder where all these critics were before and if they prefer the last CoP, trinis are easily distracted by everything else but what’s important but anyway bacchanal sells right