Almost one week after her husband, Gary Griffith, got a parliamentary mandate to be the country’s next Police Commissioner, Nicole Dyer-Griffith says she is confident he will give his all in the job.
And she’s not just saying that because it’s what’s expected of her as his wife but Dyer-Griffith truly believes he is the best man to lead the Police Service given the worsening crime rate.
“And, in giving his all, will maintain his focus of ensuring our (citizens) fundamental rights of safety and security are assured,” an upbeat Dyer-Griffith said in a Sunday Newsday interview.
Dyer-Griffith’s confidence, she said, was underpinned by her husband’s track record in public service, including his stints as national security minister and national security adviser (both in the former UNC-led People’s Partnership administration), among other positions.
She said his work in public life was beyond reproach.
“The public is very familiar with Gary. His service and actions have spoken loudly in both positions, and this is the very reason his appointment was largely supported in the public domain. People know him.
“They know he is very capable of accomplishing his mission. So, the very same qualities he applied as minister, fearlessness, focus, dedication and hard work, are some of the qualities I am certain he will apply on this post.”
Stating she was proud of her husband’s appointment as top cop, Dyer-Griffith added: “Not many persons would set pride aside to apply for a position beneath what they once held, not because they need it, but because they see an opportunity to serve as best as they can. That has always been our orientation–selfless service.”
The top cop-designate has conceptualised a 78-point plan to stamp out criminals and uplift the Police Service.
Dyer-Griffith is not naive to the fact her husband would face intense public scrutiny, especially from his detractors, but acknowledged its par for the course.
“Sometimes, I will admit it irks me, as you get attacked at times, and sit back and wonder. Yet you still press on because your mission is of a greater good.
“Scrutiny comes with the territory. This is not our first walk down this road of public review. We have been here before, and we are very familiar with the expectations and requirements. One thing is certain, and that is pomp or position does not impact, nor influence who and what we are.”
She described her husband, who is yet to be officially installed, as “one of the most selfless human begins you can meet.”
“He never holds grudges, and can work with anyone at anytime in any scenario. He is a type A personality and demonstrates all the traits that come along with that type.
“He has proven himself to be an exceptional leader, and when you have an individual who wants for nothing other than to be of service to his country, then you cannot go wrong.”
Dyer-Griffith, who met her husband during her stint as Miss TT, almost two decades ago, is likely to bring a vibrancy, passion and outspokenness to the role of police commissioner’s wife.
Previous commissioners’ wives have largely been demure and inconspicuous.
Apart from enjoying a very public persona, which began with her days as a beauty pageant contestant and communications professional, Dyer-Griffith has enjoyed a creditable stint in politics, having served as a former senator and parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Communications under the former PP administration.
She also served on the Congress of the People executive and went on to become interim political leader of the short-lived Alliance of Independents.
Over the years, Dyer-Griffith has been very vocal about issues confronting the country. She said citizens must band together to minimise crime.
“Our Constitution guarantees each person the right to safety and security. But over the years, we have seen a gradual decline in this fundamental right, with attacks against women and children, the slaughter of young men by other young men, the rise of gangs and the gang mentality, and a general decline of confidence in those whom are entrusted to protect us.”
Dyer-Griffith added: “We are at a dangerous edge and we must all refuse to give in. We must set all forms of division aside and face forward together. We fight not solely for our rights to safety, but for our right to a future.
“I am passionate about working together for the greater good, and will speak if I believe anyone is attempting to jump in the way of getting the job done. This is a time for all of us to shed the division and work toward one mission – to have a safe and secure land.”
She is also pushing for an amendment to the Firearms Act to allow for the use of a non-lethal means of self-defence, such as pepper spray.
“This, however, falls within the purview of the legislative agenda, and must be deliberated upon by members of Parliament.”
Dyer-Griffith said she is also concerned about equal emphasis on secondary crime prevention methods, including at-risk youth and strengthening programmes to provide outlets for our young persons within their communities.
“I am also hoping emphasis would be placed on the introduction of future oriented units specially designed to treat with domestic violence, behavioural risk management and the protection of women and children in particular.”
On intelligence-led policing, Dyer-Griffith said her husband has received an “avalanche of opinions, advice, plans, all of which he is happy to accept and consider.”
“However, I would not wish to add too much more to his plate as he is more that aware of what is required and how it is to be implemented.”
Asked if she had planned any initiatives to complement her husband’s work as commissioner, Dyer-Griffith said she would continue her work in the O2N and GIII Foundations.
“But, if there is alignment on the work undertaken then these synergies will be embraced. Fact is, I have never required a position, designation to title to do what I believe in.”
Dyer-Griffith said her husband’s appointment would affect their family life.
“Of course, there will be certain fundamental adjustments. However, it is our responsibility to attempt to maintain stasis as best as we can, as the public will no doubt extract and exact their pound of flesh from the commissioner designate–and quite rightly so.
“We are all committed to striking the right balance to ensure the family is comfortable on this journey. We all know what to expect. We made this decision as a unit, and we will come out of it as a unit.”