National Security Minister Gary Griffith said yesterday in the Senate that he was optimistic about emulating the late Brigadier Joe Theodore by “bringing down the murder rate to below 100.”
Griffith was among senators who paid tribute to Theodore who died Saturday of a heart attack. Among them were Terrance Deyalsingh and Ian Prescott. Senate President Timothy Hamel-Smith hailed Theodore as a “ hero” and called for one minute of silence to be observed. Theodore led the army during the coup attempt of 1990. He also served as National Security minister in the Basdeo Panday administration (1995 to 2000).
Griffith said: “He is arguably one of the most successful National Security Ministers for being able to lock crime down to such an extent. Based on his leadership and the policies, we were able to have the murder rates below 100. If I can accomplish half of what he accomplished, I would have succeeded in my mission. It was a privilege to have followed in his footsteps.”
Among Theodore’s interventions were an E999 rapid response, automated finger printing rapid response and highway patrol.
Griffith said Theodore, former Defence Force Chief, was considering returning to national service before succumbing to a heart attack on Saturday at West Shore Medical Centre.
Deyalsingh said “ In small island societies like ours, we were lucky to have had heroes in sports and culture. We pay tribute to a hero in military and parliamentarian fields.”