[UPDATED] CoP: I’ll be working while on vacation in Ireland

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith at a recent police press briefing at the Police Administration Building, Port-of-Spain.  - SUREASH CHOLAI
Police Commissioner Gary Griffith at a recent police press briefing at the Police Administration Building, Port-of-Spain. - SUREASH CHOLAI

POLICE Commissioner Gary Griffith said although he will be out of the country for a month, he will be closely monitoring all current major investigations.

“These investigations are far from over and I am personally spearheading each and every one of them. My absence will not affect the investigations going on. I will be in briefings with them (his deputies) daily. I will be heavily involved in all these investigations. That of course will be bad news for the criminals.”

The investigations include the DSS (Drug Sou-Sou) pyramid scheme; a member of the police-led team being caught on camera stuffing an envelope down his pants believed to be filled with cash; and the release of $22 million seized to the operator of the DSS.

Griffith will be on vacation from October 2 to November 1. He is set to visit Ireland, where his son is a professional footballer. Griffith applied for and was given an exemption to leave the country on Tuesday. Last Friday, he applied to the Police Service Commission (PSC) to go on the month-long vacation.

This is the first time in two years that he has taken a vacation. When asked about its timing, given several high-profile cases under investigation, Griffith said the two years have “taken a toll on me.”

“I have been working 18-hour days for the past two years and each time I thought of going, something came up. It started last year with local government elections. Then we went into Christmas, then Carnival, and then we had covid and general elections, and covid still continues.

"So I told myself nothing is getting easier. It is time to recharge my batteries and come back out blazing.”

Griffith’s vacation comes when he has been highly criticised by the public for his handling of matters including his media release in response to the Prime Minister, his defence of private parties and more recently the handling of an investigation into alleged impropriety by a Defence Force member in charge of the DSS pyramid scheme.

In a media briefing earlier this month, Griffith said he was awaiting the first opportunity to take his vacation.

At the time he was addressing the Police Service Commission’s (PSC) first appraisal of him and his lack of confirmed deputy commissioners of police.

Griffith also slammed what he called “social media thugs” hired to spread false information about him in a bid to discredit him. One of the attacks by these “thugs,”,who he said are being paid handsomely for their dangerous keyboard fingers, was that he was sent on administrative leave by the PSC.

Other false information in the past included claims that Griffith had resigned.

He said these are just attempts by a quaking criminal underworld to steer the public away from his impact on crime.

“They think that this will make me peg back, but the more they do these things is the more I will go after them. “

While he is on vacation acting DCP Mc Donald Jacob, who is currently on vacation and returns to work on Friday, will act as commissioner.

Acting DCP Jayson Forde is set to go on pre-retirement leave on Thursday.

This story was originally published with the title "CoP goes on vacation in Ireland" and has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.

TWO years after he was appointed as top cop, Police Commissioner Gary Griffith is finally going on vacation.

In a media briefing earlier this month, Griffith said he was awaiting the first opportunity to take his vacation. At the time he was addressing the Police Service Commission’s(PSC) first appraisal of him and his lack of confirmed deputy commissioners of police.

The police service’s communications manager Francis Joseph told Newsday Griffith will take October off to visit Ireland, where his son, Gary Griffith III, plays professional football.

Joseph debunked rumours that Griffith was sent on administrative leave, as was suggested by rumours circulating on social media. They suggested Griffith had been sent on leave by the Police Complaints Authority.

The PCA has no jurisdiction over the commissioner, only the PSC.

Joseph said Griffith applied for his vacation in advance and he has the evidence to support it, which will be made public on Wednesday during his weekly media briefing.

In recent weeks , Griffith has come under a lot of pressure for his handling of matters including his media release in response to the Prime Minister, his defence of private parties and more recently the handling of an investigation into alleged impropriety by a Defence Force member in charge of what he called a pyramid scheme.

Acting DCP Mc Donald Jacob, who is currently on vacation, will assume duties as acting commissioner on Friday when he returns to work. Acting DCP Jayson Forde is set to retire on Thursday.

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"[UPDATED] CoP: I’ll be working while on vacation in Ireland"

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