Gary Griffith Speaks Out On Politicians Making National Security Decisions

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On Monday, former Trinidad and Tobago Police Commissioner Gary Griffith addressed the issue of politicians making national security decisions during an appearance on the Hot 7 Television programme ‘Good Morning St. Lucia’.

“The unfortunate thing that I have seen even in Trinidad and Tobago is that decisions are made as it pertains to national security primarily by politicians,” he observed.

“And most politicians they do not have a clue and there’s nothing wrong with that,” Griffith told Host Shannon Lebourne.

“You are a politician, you are not a national security expert. It started even in Trinidad and Tobago. Our Prime Minister said to be a Minister of National Security all you needed was common sense and a level head. That is not true,” Griffith, a former Trinidad, and Tobago National Security Minister, declared.

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He said he expects people with some degree of expertise would serve in those positions.

In the case of his native Trinidad and Tobago, he recalled that the most successful the country had ever been was when Brigadier General Joe Theodore was Minister of National Security.

Theodore, now deceased, served as Minister from December 1995 to December 2000.

Griffith disclosed that under Theodore’s watch, Trinidad and Tobago’s murder rate was less than one hundred because the then Minister understood the concept of national security and law enforcement.

In this regard, Griffith asserted that at CARICOM Summits dealing with national security, it would be a matter of ideas since they are not trained or qualified.

“Persons who are experts in the field should drive it and then they become the guiding factors towards giving them advice so that in CARICOM it can then become policies. It is not to reinvent the wheel. There are certain things that we do have such as IMPACS, that becomes a type of a law enforcement body with different arms in the Caribbean where they can work together but that must turn into actual operational plans,” he explained.

And in the case of Saint Lucia, where a violent crime wave continues, Griffith expressed confidence that the situation could improve.

“It can be done. The situation you have in Saint Lucia can turn around. It is not impossible. It is not going to be easy,” Griffith, a former Trinidad and Tobago National Security Minister, told Host Shannon Lebourne.

However, Griffith explained that the country must implement the concept of leadership, accountability, good management, and performance measurement.

He also spoke of the need to analyse data to develop the best and most efficient tools for success.

In addition, he mentioned successful models in other countries.

“It is not a template. You have to look and analyse the concerns in that country and then you can utilize your limited national security resources in an effective and efficient manner,” the former T&T Police Chief explained.

Griffith, credited with reducing crime in Trinidad and Tobago and increasing public confidence in the police during his stint as Police Chief, said he would always be willing to assist and support any Island in the Caribbean.

 

 

 

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

18 COMMENTS

  1. Well, If any country needs a security Expert is St. Lucia. Griffith hit the nail on the head. Pierre has proven over and over that he has no clue about national security. As a matter of fact the guy has nothing to show he knows how to lead.
    He has requested some Foreign help to mitigate the crime problem in slu. Up to this point, he has not provided the time line and the end date for those foreign police men and women. In such situation you would think he would be respectful enough to address the nation and provide them with a high level of the expectation from those guys. Instead he spend his time overseas. At least he can tell the people how he plan on measuring the performance of the police and let them know if the objectives not being met. Is there a plan B if this does not work ?

  2. Leadership, accountability, good management and performance measurement should be essential for ALL Public Servants, not only those at the top. Too often I have experienced extreme laziness, arrogant and sullen attitudes, lack of knowledge and efficiency, lack of accountability eg taking different types of Leave without anyone following up or even knowing return dates, or whether people were actually sick (or really at the beach!) et cetera. If there is not good governance and accountability at EVERY level of employment, the Country will not improve or even survive what looks like a fast impending disaster in every area of little old St Lucia.

  3. When Gary Griffith speaks on crime issues. I listen. Very simple. This is the hero we need in the Caribbean.

  4. But wait….was Gary aware that the last administration had a security specialist/ expert as minister of national security and norrrfinggg happened 🙄 🤔.

    Is Gary implying that in our current situation that the Prime Minister is directly involved in the day to day operations of the police ? I beg the question.

    Anywhooo…

    • The last “security expert” was outed by his benefactor. Didn’t you read the articles where both were airing their dirty laundry? It was dirty in every sense of the word. Frequent readers can attest to it. In short, our last “security expert” was unworthy of his promotions. He was kicked upstairs ahead of all the deserving officers who were waiting their turn. You know the thing call connections? Excuse me a whiff of corruption seem to be emanating from phone. As I was saying, don’t include him in the list of professionals who got their achievements the old fashion way.

  5. I have always said that whichever top position that one holds especially as a minister or someone who will be representing a country, that person should have a great level of experience in the field. Only in politics that one holds one of the highest post and do not need 7 or 8 or 10 years,experience but is given the post with over a $10, 000 monthly salary. In other sectors that is what required plus academics. No wonder countries affairs do not progress and we are all experiencing the incompetency of people in positions. Once you win your seat you are given a portfolio that most times you have no knowledge about and they hired advisors to do the job for them. A job 1 man should be doing they hired 2 other person to help the minister. We need constitutional reform. Unless that is done no matter how often we change party we will still be getting the same results. Wannabe politicians who think that their idea is going to make a difference especially if they are young. Young people will only make a country worse unless they have guidance from the veterans or most senior heads.

  6. I don:t share his views on national security. Politicians have to provide the leadership. However, they need to consult and work in collaboration with national security experts. Political leaders delegate responsibility to the experts in public service.

    • Politicians provide guidance only… finance, objectives, mission. Security personnel work within that framework. The problem arises when politicians become queasy when the public reacts negatively to security measures. Another problem is when security practices bump against political self-interest.

  7. Why can’t we nominate this man in the Senate as Minister of Security to clean up some sheeet in St. Lucia; he sounds very credible. Why is PjP holding a ministry that he knows nothing about? this is a time St. Lucia needs the help not only of human factor, but of the Lord God.

  8. RSLPF meet your new police commissioner. Don’t think that his miraculous appearance here is by chance or coincidental. Your government has been in discussion with him to lead your organization. This is his attempt at making himself known and feeling the ground. I have one question though – why wasn’t his contact renewed in Trinidad? Was he all talk with no action? How effective was he as a leader when he apparently spent more time being a soldier in the field that leading his organization? Mind you, the words from his mouth were spot on but can he deliver. I say that if he could he would have still been Trinidad’s top cop. Saint Lucia has tried that formula before – foreign Commissioners – but the force was left in even a greater mess. Let’s hope this time it works if he is indeed the messiah, for this country really needs a savior.

    • We have tried foreign officers before, however, they were sabotaged within the organization. They were taking the force where it didn’t want to go. They were successful and seasoned officers who were pulling the mule by its nose. Can’t drink Pitons during shift…big problem. Can’t come to work looking like crap…big problem. Can’t abuse vehicles…mucho, mucho problem). So a particular guy (we know whom) made a decision to terminate their contract. We can’t have complaining cops, that translates to a lost of votes.

    • you know already when you are someone that stands for what you mean and you cant be bent no one likes you and they move you around look at what happen to francois they send him on vacation till he just gave up and resigned.

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