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Griffith: A knee-jerk reaction

Thursday, January 12 2017

FORMER National Security Minister Gary Griffith has described as “a knee-jerk reaction”, moves by Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams to send members of the Police Executive on forced early retirement on the basis on non-performance and inefficiency.

“While many may welcome such a move, it is more than a case of too little too late, as I have mentioned this for the last two years, that there has been a reluctance by the Acting Commissioner to press this button. The question must be asked, why has he not acted in this manner over the last three year and why only now,” Griffith said. He said if the Acting Commissioner decides to use data of crime statistics to fire a senior officer on the basis of non-performance, then by that same token, the Acting Commissioner should do the honourable thing and also resign with immediate effect, as the buck stops with him.

He also pointed out there is indeed substance to fire senior officers for poor performance and one can refer to the turnaround of the New York Police Dept. under then Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Commissioners Bernard Kerik and Bill Bratton, where officers in command of precincts were indeed fired. However, Griffith noted that there were specific attainable goals, time lines and a structure to measure performance and make officers accountable. “Because without a proper structure, such actions by the acting commissioner can lead to legal action being taken against the State.”

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