WITH members of the protective services having its fourth Minister of National Security in three years, the Police Social and Welfare Association has said Jack Warner was the most productive of the lot so far.
Speaking with the Express via telephone yesterday, general secretary of the association acting Insp Michael Seales said of the last three ministers, Warner had given them the most.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar re-shuffled her Cabinet, changing for the fourth time her National Security minister. On this occasion, it went from Emmanuel George, now Minister of Justice, to Gary Griffith, her former national security adviser.
In 2010, retired Brigadier John Sandy was appointed National Security Minister. His term lasted from May of that year to June 2012. Warner’s term lasted from Sandy’s removal in June to April this year after he resigned.
George took over on April 22 and was removed on Thursday and replaced by Griffith.
“It is not about who is the best and who is the worst. What I am saying is that we would have benefited the most under Mr Warner. What Mr Sandy would have suffered with us as an association is that a lot of cosmetics was done in terms of what was going to happen,” Seales said.
Seales added: “A lot of cosmetics was done in terms of his delivery because there was a lot of talk. I want to take the same comment that Mr Griffith said, ‘no time for talking, time for action’, and I want to take that because that was part of the thing that we were troubled with Mr Sandy and there was a lot of negative fallout with Mr Sandy during that period.
“After that, there was no time to heal and everything started going downhill from there.
“As an association, a lot was accomplished under the stewardship of Mr Warner. I know he would have got a short time, but a lot was achieved to help the Police Service to grow tremendously under his watch.
“Mr Emmanuel (George) would have continued what Mr Warner would have started off. I don’t think he would have had a lot of opportunity to take it to that next level, but Mr Griffith is now inheriting that situation, now he must demonstrate,” Seales said.
There was a smooth transition from Warner to George, Seales said. He added that the association did not get all that they wanted, but they did receive about 93 per cent of what they wanted under Warner. Some of the things Warner delivered on included fast-tracking of promotions and negotiations.
Seales said he had the opportunity to interact with George and he operated on an open-door policy and always welcomed the association. Seales said he wished George all the best as he says goodbye to the ministry. “As to the new and incumbent the association has a high expectation since he started with time for action and less talk.
“Knowing that he wants to go that route, we want to say that consultation is key to the association to get the full and widest participation of its members in any initiative that has been launched.
“Far too often a lot of things happen and the membership is not aware because no consultation was done,” said Seales.
He said he hopes the new minister takes a page from what happened in the past, adding that the key to success is knowing the police are the premier service-provider in national security and consultation with the association is key.
Seales said the association would be giving Griffith a “honeymoon period” which would be the customary three months.
After that he must demonstrate that he is willing to take it to that next level because the country’s eyes are on law enforcement at this time.