Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley yesterday added his voice and his support to the Commissioner of Police’s drive to have all police officers undergo polygraph tests.
“We want a future that if a police officer carries that title and he wears that uniform, young people must be able to confidently say that that officer is someone I can depend on to be honest, to be uncorrupted and to be there to protect and serve the people of T&T,” he said.
Rowley was addressing the large gathering at the PNM’s annual sports and family day in Horquetta yesterday.
He said officers must be able to withstand scrutiny and answer questions without fear.
“And that is why today, whatever the circumstances, whatever is required, we the people must be able to say to the Commissioner of Police, we support you in going for polygraph tests to erode corruption in the police service,” Rowley said.
Griffith, in media releases and media reports over the past few months, touted the benefits of the regular polygraph testing.
He said then that the testing of Special Reserve officers was expected to start soon and that it was part of his plans to transform policing and ensure greater accountability.
In other media reports, Griffith acknowledged that police officers were involved in illicit activity including smuggling of illegal drugs, weapons and sex workers.
“This is a country where we take everything for granted. As if we don’t participate in it, if we do not stand up in principle for it, it will happen just,” he said.
“Our party is well organised and that is why after 63 years we are the predominate political entity in T&T and I dare say the Caribbean,” he said.
He said it was important to have events like sports and family day to include young people and for them to feel included.
“We in this country take a lot for granted, to our peril,” he said.
Griffith was getting resistance from the newly elected president of the Police and Social and Welfare Association Inspector Gideon Dickson.
Dickson said that the tests should not be done until the organisation met with the Commissioner.
Rowley also said that young people must demand honesty in politics.
He named no names but referenced a “public officer” facing bribery charges yet still being allowed to run a public office and handling public money.
“If it is that is what they are offering you as your future, I ask you to reject it,” he said.
“The corrupt must not run this country. The thieves must not run this country, whether they are in the police service, the customs or wherever they are, we are going to change this country,” he said.
He said a new society must ensure that public officers are acting properly.
He said the same goes for police officers.
He said whenever a revenue stream was lost, we have to ensure we still have enough to survive.