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Griffith not a 100-day wizard

It is with disappointment that I read the Express Opinion piece titled “Less talk, more action, Mr Griffith”. This article is proof that Trinbagonians have a well-developed ability to disparage anything new offered by the Government that aims to bring about change for the better.
So Gary Griffith went from National Security adviser to National Security Minister and, after only 100 days in his new position, the editor thought it was sufficient time gone by to justify her rebuking him for not performing miracles with respect to our country’s crime issue. I for one do not see Minister Griffith wearing a wizard’s hat, to deem him capable of turning around a decade-old issue with the casting of an instant magic spell.
The editor ought to know that any person taking over the top post of an organisation would use the first 100 days to get an understanding of its internal workings, processes, strategic policies and issues; after all, a first-hand perspective is always different from a peripheral view.
Fortunately for us, Griffith’s strong military background enables him to adopt a no-nonsense, systematic approach in his mode of operation. He has clearly been investing his time in strategic analysis and assessment of the crime situation, so as to create an effective game plan. Lamentable it is that the editor chose instead to berate the minister for his military background by describing him as “a military man locked in his role of leading his troops”.
Despite immense pressure to produce fantastic results in the wink of an eye, Griffith has remained focused and, at the close of his inaugural 100 days, has acted appropriately by announcing his implementation of a solid three-month plan that is expected to bear results. Through his exercise of control by acting in accordance with his own pace, he has shown that he has certainly moved beyond his troops and is truly focused on the larger picture of serving his nation.
I, among many others, eagerly welcome this fresh effort to bring about change in our national security landscape. The editor made a dull point of harping on the issue of gangs. I am confident Minister Griffith has already incorporated this facet of crime into his plan of attack. This leads me to ask: did the editor have such an equally vociferous opinion about crackdown on gangs by the previous government administration? Did he/she tell the previous prime minister to be quiet about the subject and instead show action? I think not.
For too long we have simmered in the malaise of accepting crime as the norm of the day. Minister Griffith has shown himself to be a serious-minded individual about the issue of crime. His “gun-talk” is exactly the wake-up call that we as a society need at this point in time.
For the past decade and a half, we have seen quick-fix plans that failed miserably. This is why I am more than willing to give Griffith a fair chance. I have already seen various positive initiatives under his watch such as the revitalisation of the Highway Patrol Unit to tackle increasing traffic law violations; the recruitment of additional police officers; increased police anti-crime operations and continued joint police and army patrols throughout the country; and one to look forward to, the upcoming introduction of the Rapid Response Unit.
Minister Griffith also brings the new stance of choosing to not politicise crime, and working instead in co-ordination with all relevant stakeholders in favour of bringing viable solutions. This is a new dawn in our history and a position that I fully support. Instead of denigrating the man for taking an unbending stance, we should all try to put ourselves in his shoes...to understand that he is indeed doing what is required of him. Let us emulate him in treating the issue of crime with a serious attitude for a change, and open our minds to new possibilities that could bring about the much needed change in our crime situation.
Emma-Jean Laban
via e-mail
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