Add St. Lucia News Online on Whatsapp +1758 712 6700; get major headlines and source us with news tips, photos, and videos

Trinidad: 40 cops transferred for refusing polygraph tests

By Trinidad Guardian

 Share This On:

Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith (CMC Photo)

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — Fif­teen of 16 po­lice of­fi­cers at­tached to a sta­tion in the South­west­ern penin­su­la who re­cent­ly re­fused to take a vol­un­tary poly­graph test have all been trans­ferred.

The trans­fers were made by Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Gary Grif­fith, who con­firmed the ac­tion yes­ter­day, say­ing he in­tends to clean up the T&T Po­lice Ser­vice.

Grif­fith said any of­fi­cer who re­fus­es to take the test was ei­ther cov­er­ing up for their fel­low of­fi­cers or turn­ing a blind eye to il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ty and crim­i­nal el­e­ments.

How­ev­er, ad­mit­ting it was not manda­to­ry for an of­fi­cer to be poly­graphed, he said, “What I find very alarm­ing is that many of the po­lice of­fi­cers are will­ing to poly­graphed or be asked any ques­tion at any lev­el to get in­to the of­fice. But when you get in­to the ser­vice they sud­den­ly have rights and don’t want to be poly­graphed,” Grif­fith said in a tele­phone in­ter­view.

Ex­plain­ing the rea­son­ing be­hind his re­cent move, Grif­fith said be­cause of the sen­si­tiv­i­ty of spe­cif­ic units and their lo­ca­tions of­fi­cers must be poly­graphed to be part of them. He said some of the units fall un­der Spe­cial Branch and the Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Re­sponse Team in­volved in spe­cial op­er­a­tions.

He said for years the pub­lic has ac­cused the po­lice ser­vice of be­ing in­volved in the il­le­gal en­try of weapons, drugs and hu­man traf­fick­ing in the south­west­ern coastal ar­eas of Ica­cos, Erin and Ce­dros. As such, he came up with a sim­ple way to deal with the is­sue, where he asked of­fi­cers to vol­un­tar­i­ly be poly­graphed on ques­tions.

The ques­tions asked the of­fi­cers if they re­ceive mon­ey for the il­le­gal en­try of weapons and drugs in­to the coun­try, if they are aware of those in­volved in the il­le­gal en­try of drugs and guns and if they have been op­er­at­ing as po­lice of­fi­cers to pre­vent crime from hap­pen­ing.

“It was amaz­ing to know that a whole po­lice sta­tion, 15 of them, they all re­fused to be poly­graphed on a sim­ple straight­for­ward mat­ter. From cap­tain to cook,” he said, adding the sta­tion has 16 of­fi­cers and this would raise eye­brows.

The 15 of­fi­cers ranked from WPC and PC to in­spec­tor and sergeant.

Grif­fith, how­ev­er, re­fused to pin­point the sta­tion, say­ing based on the fact that the of­fi­cers re­fused to be poly­graphed, they would not re­main in those sta­tions.

“They would be re­as­signed to oth­er lo­ca­tions. I am the Com­mis­sion­er of Po­lice. I de­cide where of­fi­cers are post­ed any­way, any­time and any­where,” Grif­fith said.

“It is my call. I want per­sons who I could put my head on a block on…to know that they are not com­pro­mis­ing the se­cu­ri­ty of this coun­try and af­fect­ing their fel­low of­fi­cers. They have to be trust­wor­thy.”

The of­fi­cers were giv­en four­teen days to trans­fer.

De­spite this, Grif­fith said the test­ing was not to find any­one guilty.

“It may very well mean that sev­er­al of them are aware of what is hap­pen­ing and they are not op­er­at­ing in the prop­er man­ner be­com­ing of a po­lice of­fi­cer, be­cause of ei­ther try­ing to cov­er their fel­low of­fi­cers or turn­ing a blind eye,” he said.

In light of this de­vel­op­ment, Grif­fith said, “I have heard that some of them in­tend to take le­gal ac­tion. I look for­ward to any­one tak­ing me to court and chal­leng­ing this. I have court clothes.”

He said he in­tend­ed to adopt the same ap­proach for of­fi­cers in the North East­ern ar­eas such as Mara­cas Bay and Las Cuevas, adding he will find a way “to clean up the po­lice ser­vice.”

Grif­fith said he was will­ing to take the same poly­graph test the of­fi­cers re­ceived when it the process is ful­ly im­ple­ment­ed, al­though he could not give a time­frame for this.

“My job is to open the Pan­do­ra’s box and clean up what­ev­er prob­lems they have. For years we have heard about po­lice com­pro­mis­ing their po­si­tions.”

Con­tact­ed on the is­sue yes­ter­day, T&T Po­lice Ser­vice So­cial and Wel­fare As­so­ci­a­tion sec­re­tary, In­sp Anand Rame­sar, said the trans­fers of 40 of­fi­cers from the coastal ar­eas to in­land sta­tions at Point Fortin, San­ta Flo­ra, Siparia, Fyz­abad and Oropouche had come to their at­ten­tion. He con­firmed the trans­fers came as a re­sult of their re­fusal to agree to take vol­un­tary lie de­tec­tor tests.

Rame­sar said he was not sure who en­quired from the of­fi­cers whether they should vol­un­teer for the tests, not­ing the as­so­ci­a­tion ex­ec­u­tive was “not con­sult­ed” on the mat­ter.

“We are in the process of en­quir­ing as to who ap­proved this process and whether or not it has the au­thor­i­ty of the CoP. It does raise some is­sues in terms of process, it does raise some is­sues by of­fi­cers in terms of whether or not they were fair­ly dealt with?”

He said, how­ev­er, that it was dif­fi­cult to say if the trans­fers were based on vic­tim­i­sa­tion since trans­fers are a nor­mal process. Rame­sar has since asked the of­fi­cers to put their com­plaints in writ­ing, fol­low­ing which they will meet with Grif­fith.

(0)(1)
This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

One comment

  1. Yes Mr Gary Griffith thumbs up to you for taking a stand to clean up the police service I know it's not a easy task but someone has to do it and I applaud you.May the Lord continue to keep you in this venture .

    (0)(0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.