One of the biggest obstacles Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith faced this year was funding for the T&T Police Service, yet he was able to have his officers intensify all efforts in bringing reductions to murders and serious crimes.
Griffith who was a guest on CNC3’s The Morning Brew yesterday morning explained that he runs the Police Service as a business and is currently over $130 million in debt to suppliers.
“With the $500 million allocated in the last year I spent $100 million less than what was allocated and this year I still received $100 million less (from $550 million to $270 million) and I came into this fiscal year owing over $130 million-odd to suppliers and going to this fiscal year, four months so far without funds because I have not received funds.”
Griffith, however, said he has been speaking with the relevant authorities and is hopeful that funds will be released to the service in the new year. “I have been running a Police Service and making sure it is not shut down. I am dealing with 7,000 employees, 1,500 vehicles, buildings with a shoestring of no budget, but I am speaking with the relevant authorities on this and when funds are released I will be able to get camcorders, tasers and paper sprays for all my officers.”
Griffith said his goal is to equip every officer with non-lethal weapons in a bid to prevent abuse of power.
He also wants to fully implement the body cam initiative, which he said has a long way to go because of insufficient funding.
Griffith said that despite the Police Service’s shortcomings his officers were able to see a 25 per cent reduction in murders along with other reductions in serious crimes.
He said this was due to intensified roadblocks, human intelligence and police exercises.