Family is a priority says Police Commissioner Gary Griffith, who’s still finalising his decision to apply for the CoP job ahead— particularly since he and his family have received 28 death threats in his three-year tour of duty.
“...28 death threats against myself, my wife and my three children—most of the threats targetting me,” Griffith said yesterday.
The death threats arose from his fight against criminal elements. Intelligence agency documents have stated that the figure is the highest record of such “Kill” threats against people in public office and was rated as the highest risk.
Griffith spoke about his position as he confirmed he was “finalising my decision” on whether to pursue a second term in office.
Griffith’s contracted period ends on August 18.
Last Sunday’s hint that he might return was received warmly by many groups.
A legal notice last Thursday advised of the Police Service Commission’s selection process order for a CoP and deputy. Government officials yesterday confirmed the order will be tabled in the House of Representatives which meets on Wednesday. But no debate is required to bring it into effect, since it’s been effected since last Thursday. They stated that the PSC isn’t required to wait until the order is laid in Parliament, which is a simple one-minute procedure.
Later in the process (detailed by the PSC’s order), a list of nominees will be sent to the President. Parliamentary debate on the matter will follow later on.
Yesterday, Griffith said, “I’ve accomplished all that I need to do, I’ve served my country in different capacities to the best of my ability.’’
Handling death threats from criminals, health matters and “marathon” days, he’s, however, concerned about his position’s impact on his children.
“For instance, my son’s now started his career path (in football). If because those who hate me continue making my son a target instead of directing concerns to me, this will be taken into consideration. My son’s future shouldn’t be affected because of who his father is.
“My children—including my daughter—have suffered and been targetted by those who obviously have jealousy, agendas and are diametrically opposed to decisions I take for T&T’s good. My children shouldn’t have to suffer because of how I try to serve my country.”
He added, “It’s an honour to serve my country and it’ll be an honour to continue serving my country and citizens, but I do need to speak to my family carefully to balance whether this sacrifice I make will affect their career path and security.”
That family discussion will be soon, however, since the legal notice is out.
“If I have to go forward to serve my country and fellow citizens, I must ensure my wife and children are safe. I can handle anything directed at me, including my health. But when it comes to my wife and children, that’s a different issue, which is why my family and I will consider the matter before further formal word,” he said.
Griffith’s received consistently good reviews from the PSC. But legal sources said he’s apparently made enemies after cutting the TTPS’ overtime bill from $65 million annually, pursuing gang activity, white-collar crime and human trafficking. They noted inroads into certain areas cost gang business heavily. It was confirmed that criminally-directed death threats against the family over the years involved contract “money” in the range of six to seven figures.