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New hotline flooded with info
Riding on a wave of goodwill from the public, Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith says he is already getting hundreds of calls on his private line 482-GARY giving details of criminal activity in T&T.
He is also receiving many prank calls, all of which he is acknowledging.
Speaking to Guardian Media yesterday, Griffith said he was heartened by the public confidence in him.
“I have received thousands of calls and I am dealing with everyone when I get a chance. I am receiving information that can be of value. I am getting many calls about financial intelligence. I am also receiving the calls about a mango that fell in a neighbour’s yard as well as calls about crime plans. I am getting all those and acknowledging the messages. I am also getting very serious concerns and reports which are being forwarded to the relevant departments for investigations and possible action,” Griffith said.
He assured that all the calls were confidential.
Griffith also dismissed statements that the launch of his direct public information line would undermine the credibility of other crime hotlines such as 999, 555 and Crime Stoppers 800-TIPS.
Saying his new crime initiatives were not meant to discredit his predecessors, Griffith said he expected negative comments from the criminal elements.
“I think it is very disappointing and disturbing that I am finding different opportunities for the public to come forward and give information and people are criticising. In a recent poll, 96 per cent of the people said they were supporting it. The only people who are against it and finding concerns with it is the criminal elements because this is another spoke in their wheel,” Griffith said.
He added that his plans involved the public and all members of the TTPS whom he intended to motivate and empower.
“There will be many strategies to improve the performance, image, performance, and productivity of the Police Service, you will see and feel the difference,” Griffith said.
“I have to get every member of the Police Service to understand what I am doing. I will be visiting every police station. I will be meeting every Member of Parliament and every member of the business sector who would like to meet with me,” Griffith said.
“There will be new methods to measure performance and to make each person accountable. It will be just like a business or like any company in the private sector.
“I intend to make every police officer accountable to the citizens of the nation based on their performance. This is not in any way to be seen as disciplinary measures.
“Measurements for performance and accountability will now be used as a yardstick so that police officers can be recognised, commended, rewarded and even promoted based on their exceptional performance,” he added.
Contacted yesterday, president of the Police Social and Welfare Association Inspector Michael Seales said the Association was in support of Griffith’s scientific approach to measuring performance in the TTPS.
“The association has recognised what the CoP has said. We applaud this new measure of accountability, leadership, and transparency. The old archaic system of measuring individuals performance is a redundant use of old resources. In this new management system, we will have key performance indicators to drive performance and we applaud this because it is connected to rewards and promotions,” Seales said.
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