A letter by president Michael Seales to Commissioner Gary Griffith is calling on him to consider recommendations to pacify concerns over his decision to retain the services of Superintendent Garth Nelson. It went viral yesterday after it was leaked to social media.
Nelson, who was supposed to go on seven months vacation leave from January 7, applied to Griffith to work through his vacation. The Commissioner saw that as an exemplary move and gave Nelson the green light to do so. However, concerns were raised by both the first and second division police which resulted in Griffith’s letter to Nelson giving him permission being rescinded.
Nelson is still on the job, however, and is said to be working without pay.
Inspector Seales said he was troubled by the leaking of his letter to social media. He said, "I was terribly disappointed that people will go this extent to create mischief. In my wisdom I know all who the letter was distributed to and it is unfortunate that a senior person will go to that length to do something like this."
In the letter to Griffith, Seales made three recommendations to have the matter sorted. He also asked that existing vacancies be filled in the first and second divisions.
"These recommendations are in contemplation of the challenges, and merely express the wishes of the membership. Because, through no fault of the membership, leave was accumulated way past the legislative stipulations. In the case of first division, the stipulated amount of leave is 90 working days and second division 60 working days and as such accumulation could only be allowed with the approval of the Commissioner of Police (Stipulation 82-1)." He said members should not be penalised for the maladministration leave within the Police Service, and the association was hoping that a speedy response would be given by Griffith within the next seven days.
However, Secretary of the Association ASP Anand Ramesar questioned Nelson’s continued presence in the workplace and said, "There was nothing in the Police Act or the Public Service for employees to work for free and to occupy a substantive office, act in a higher office and work for free. Such a situation is neither contemplated nor provided for. As far as I am aware the First Division officers are substantively against the retention of Nelson for active duties whilst he should be on his vacation leave."
Checks by Newsday revealed that Nelson is currently the Head of the Western Division as the Acting Senior Superintendent