Police Commissioner Gary Griffith is insisting that he and officers of specialized units of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) have not violated the police uniform.
Griffith says he has taken note of an article published in today’s Trinidad Express newspaper, pointing to his decision to wear the digital kit.
He said, however, that wearing the kit on several high-risk operations and exercises does not constitute a violation.
The statement added: "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.”
Griffith says that days after encouraging certain arms of the media against glamorizing 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 sensationalizing and glamourizing and to providing balanced articles.
"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 statement said.
The commissioner argues that certain units in the TTPS have worn camouflage for decades.
"It must be noted that MultiOptional Police Section (MOPS), have worn this uniform for over 20 years; and there was never a concern by Anand Ramesar, who now has a concern. 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 statement by the commissioner said.
The statement added: "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 (6) months; the latest release being about the Police Red Alert. Fixing T&T continues to refuse to state who else he represents or who he 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 arms to try to 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.” 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 line, instead, be a part of the solution by avoiding sensationalism and glamourizing criminals.”