Well, Gary Griffith has begun his stint as Commissioner of Police. And the first order of business will be to deal with the escalating murder and crime rate in the country.
When Griffith was Minister of National Security, the murder rate had just crossed 400. He was appointed Minister in September 2013. The murder toll for 2013 was 408 and for 2014, it was 403.
For 2015, it was 410. But then for 2016, the murder toll reached 463, and a galloping 494 for 2017. With just over four months to go in 2018, the murder toll stands at 340.
The biggest issue for Griffith will be dealing with the gangs and the gangland-style murders. This year has seen a number of gang killings.
In most cases, the killers are roaming the streets.
There are notable gangs in Laventille, Enterprise, and Diego Martin, to name a few areas. The anti-gang legislation was passed earlier this year, but no gang member has been arrested. Despite the ole talk from the politicians, police are yet to pull in any gang members.
Griffith’s plate will be full as he tries to dismantle the gangs. One thing is clear, he will not be a desk Commissioner, but a police chief outside on the beat, leading his roops.
Some are already saying he may be the next Randolph Burroughs, who despite all the rumours and false allegations, had the criminals on the run.
Griffith thinks 21st century and he will use all the available technology and foreign assistance to defeat the gangs.
But he will need the support of the police service, especially the executive. On his first day on Friday, Griffith got a good welcome from the executive members and once he gets the support, a united and corrupt-free police service can win the war on crime.
On Friday, acting Deputy Commissioner Erla Christopher administered the oath of office and secrecy to Griffith.
He became the 12th Commissioner of Police, replacing Canadian Dwayne Gibbs who resigned in 2012.
Griffith is a former army captain who later became Minister of National Security. His nomination was approved by Parliament, although the Opposition abstained.
Deputy Commissioner Erla Christopher administers the oath to Gary Griffith
Deputy Commissioner Deodat Dulalchan greets Commissioner Gary Griffith
New Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith with Permanent Secretary, Ministry of National Security, Mr. Vel Lewis, along with DCP (Ag.) ‘Crime and Support’, Harold Phillip, DCP (Ag.) ‘Operations’, Deodat Dulalchan and DCP (Ag.) ‘Administration’, Erla Christopher.