Friday, February 23, 2018

$1.64m for crime expert Bratton

Griffith: We made the right choice

The cost of the visit of US crime consultant William Bratton was US$27,500 (TT$177,100). 

And the cost of hosting the Bratton seminar, “A country to Defend”, was $1,462,796.04, bring­ing the total cost to $1,639,896.

This was revealed by National Security Minister Gary Griffith in the House of Representatives yesterday, at Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain, in response to a question from Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner, a former minister of national security.

Griffith said in an effort to address crime reduction in a holistic manner, the ministry engaged the services of William Bratton and the Bratton Group, of the US. He said Bratton is well respected for his knowledge and success in the fields of criminology and crime prevention and had a proven track record. 

He said the total cost incurred by the State, with respect to the visit by Bratton and his team, was US$27,500. The professional fees for Bratton were US$20,000. 

He said the fees involved pre­paration of an agenda and material for the Trinidad and Tobago crime reduction seminar, to attend pre-seminar telecon­fe-

ren­ces in New York City and dinner meetings in Tri­nidad and Tobago, delivery of a paper to the seminar in Trinidad and Tobago and to gather initial Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) organisational and operational information to develop and deliver a longer-term assessment and plan of action engagement.

The airfare cost US$4,500; hotel, US$1,500; meals, US$675; and transportation, US$825. This, added to the professional fee (of US$20,000 ), amounted to US$27,500. Griffith said the costs related to Bratton and two of his senior executives. 

Griffth said the cost of hosting the Bratton seminar, “A country to defend”, on November 12, 2013, at the Hyatt Regen­cy hotel, was $1,462,796.04. He said this expenditure represented the cost of rental of the Hyatt, production of seminar material, media advertising and catering services. 

Griffith said no contract was signed by Bratton or his firm. 

He noted Bratton has been appointed commissioner of police to the city of New York, USA, on December 5, 2013. 

No­ting he had been commissioner in the past in the Boston (Massachusetts), New York and Los Angeles (California) police departments, the minis-

ter also said Bratton had also been 

approached by British Prime Minister David Cameron to become the new metropolitan police commissioner in June 2011. 

“Based on his achievements, it shows that we made the right choice in selecting somebody who has proven to be one of the most successful in reducing crime worldwide,” he said.

He said Bratton has been associated with Compstats (computerised statistics in crime) and other successful strategies. 

Apart from his presentation at the seminar, Bratton toured Laventille and other parts of East Port of Spain during his visit.

Bratton attended a pre-seminar meeting with designated Go­vernment officials and the TTPS to discuss the team’s presentation and to learn more about the Police Service’s operations.

He said the Bratton Group’s presentation was expected to cover Compstats and other successful crime-reduction strategies in the Boston, New York and Los Angeles departments.