Police Service fires 19 contract workers hired by Griffith

Francis Joseph. -
Francis Joseph. -

It has been confirmed that 19 civilian contract workers with the police service (TTPS) have had their contracts terminated. The workers were hired by former police commissioner Gary Griffith, who is describing the move as blatant political interference in the service.

DCP Mc Donald Jacob is reported to have said it is a cost-cutting exercise. He said in some cases the contractors would have been made redundant, while in others the work would have already been completed.

Among the contract workers who confirmed to Newsday that they were laid off, were former corporate communications manager Francis Joseph, events coordinator Lisa Ghany, and firearms expert Paul Daniel Nahous.

In a WhatsApp message on Monday in response to questions from Newsday, Joseph said,“Today I was called to a meeting chaired by DCP Mc Donald Jacob and informed that he was terminating my contract with immediate effect.

GONE: Fireams expert Paul Nahous.

“Other persons who were hired by former CoP Gary Griffith over the last three years also had their contracts terminated today. I would like to thank Mr Griffith for giving me the opportunity to bring the corporate communications unit to a better place and to leave the dedicated staff better trained going forward.”

Ghany confirmed to Newsday that she was also let go. She said she was not ready to comment at this time.

Nahous, in a WhatsApp response to Newsday, said he did not currently work for the police.

“My reputation and credentials speak for themselves. I remain a professional in my field and will continue to pursue work in that light.

“The work that I previously provided for TTPS was far below the range paid to someone in that role internationally and locally, a fraction of the cost of outsourcing (which is why the former commissioner opted to hire for the position rather than externally contract it).”

In a post on his Facebook page on Monday, Griffith said it had come to his attention that “every single contract of persons that I hired is being terminated with immediate effect. It is inconceivable to think that the TTPS hierarchy would do this without a directive, especially given the fact that these individuals were at the heart of the remarkable numbers and public sentiment turnaround that the TTPS has enjoyed in the past couple of years, under my watch.”

He said every right-thinking citizen should be very concerned that the hierarchy of the service appears to have been pressured to take directives to execute a well-orchestrated plan.

GONE: Former police service events manager Lisa Ghany.

“This is especially egregious in light of the fact that the identified contractors performed beyond expectation, and they did so for less money than the contractors during the tenure of the previous head of the TTPS.”

He said this devaluing of human resource capital was the epitome of the term “dismantling of the national security apparatus” as human resources are even more pivotal than physical assets to the police’s success.

He said the argument of budgetary cuts was a bogus one, as only the civilian staff he hired were being terminated.

“Their contracts are being paid off, which means the taxpayers will be footing a bill for no work. Also it would mean that the TTPS will either hire new contractors, or they will put these jobs in the hands of officers who are not trained or qualified to undertake these specialised tasks.

“The reason these jobs were in the hands of civilians for over a decade is because the TTPS recruitment mechanism does not cater to these specific fields of endeavour, which is why most of the persons hired were poached from the private sector.”

He expressed sympathy for the hierarchy of the service as he said he faced pressure recently “from a government official who wanted me to appoint a constable to head the Cyber Crime Unit, which is responsible for the interception of electronic data, including that from phones.

“I rejected the attempts to exert pressure, and perhaps this is the price I am now paying.”

Griffith said these actions could never augur well for the morale and operational capabilities of the service, which leaves him deeply concerned about how this will affect the safety and security of all the nation's citizens.


"Police Service fires 19 contract workers hired by Griffith"

More in this section