New police body wants Gary to hold hand on polygraph, drug tests

Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Grif­fith may al­ready be fac­ing a chal­lenge from the new Po­lice So­cial and Wel­fare As­so­ci­a­tion as it re­lates to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of his poly­graph and drug test­ing pol­i­cy.

As part of the over­all plan to pro­tect the bor­ders, Grif­fith an­nounced plans to is­sue poly­graph and ran­dom drug tests to of­fi­cers sta­tioned along the South West­ern penin­su­la com­menc­ing next week.

He said this is to en­sure that no of­fi­cer can com­pro­mise the an­ti-crime ef­forts.

“This is not a way to dis­ci­pline po­lice of­fi­cers, but it gives the com­mis­sion­er of po­lice that pre­rog­a­tive to pro­vide and en­sure that the area in that south west­ern penin­su­la is air­tight.”

When the idea of poly­graph test­ing was re­vealed by Grif­fith in March of this year he said of­fi­cers would be asked spe­cif­ic ques­tions.

But while for­mer pres­i­dent of the as­so­ci­a­tion Michael Seales sup­port­ed the move, days af­ter be­ing elect­ed new pres­i­dent of the as­so­ci­a­tion In­spec­tor Gideon Dick­son said that no poly­graph or drug tests should be done un­til there is a meet­ing be­tween the com­mis­sion­er and the po­lice union.

Dick­son told Guardian Me­dia that this is­sue was a top­i­cal one on the cam­paign trail and “of­fi­cers have re­al con­cerns, the as­so­ci­a­tion has re­al con­cerns.”

He said the com­mis­sion­er must re­veal un­der what au­thor­i­ty he is op­er­at­ing as it re­lates to this new pol­i­cy.

On the re­lat­ed is­sue of bor­der se­cu­ri­ty, Grif­fith de­scribed as “rum talk,” state­ments in the pub­lic do­main that there are thou­sands of Venezue­lans en­ter­ing this coun­try il­le­gal­ly on a dai­ly ba­sis.

“I wish to give the pub­lic the as­sur­ance that there is no such sit­u­a­tion that took place or is tak­ing place per­tain­ing to this mass in­put of per­sons en­ter­ing through il­le­gal ports of en­try.”

At the week­ly po­lice press brief­ing yes­ter­day Grif­fith pro­vid­ed sta­tis­tics in or­der to back up his de­nial.

He said in 2015, 11,000 Venezue­lans were reg­is­tered as be­ing in this coun­try il­le­gal­ly.

How­ev­er, they en­tered through le­git­i­mate ports of en­try and did not de­part.

He said since then, close to 5,000 oth­ers have done the same.

Reporter: Chester Sambrano

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