Newly-appointed Commissioner of Police (CoP) Gary Griffith yesterday admitted putting forward a salary proposal of $40,000 a month to the Ministry of National Security.
Griffith described the figure as “bare minimum,” stating that if the monthly wage of a CoP was $5,000 he would have accepted the job.
“The fact of the matter is I don’t need the funds. Through inheritance from my parents…through previous businesses that I had I am very comfortable in life. So having the need for financial gain and trying to get an exorbitant salary is not on my priority at all.”
To have put forward a higher salary, Griffith said “would have been inappropriate and it would show poor leadership for me to try and ask for any exorbitant salary even though it would have most probably been accepted based on the precedent set by former CoP Gibbs (Dwayne).”
In arriving at the figure, Griffith said he took the country’s financial situation into account.
The top cop said what is required in the T&T Police Service was proper leadership.
Griffith said his contractual agreement did not fall under the Salaries Review Commission (SRC).
He said his negotiation was similar to Gibbs who negotiated with the Government based on two factors “he was a foreigner so there was displacement” and that had he applied for the CoP position in the private sector he would have received a top range salary as a result of his qualifications and experience.
Gibbs’ contract allowed a monthly salary of $125,000.
Griffith said with the CoPs’ current salary of $31,080 under the SRC, plus other remunerations, he could have applied for upwards of $60,000 pay packet.
“That is what I could have applied for and requested. However, what I submitted to the permanent secretary was nowhere in line with what was placed in the Express newspaper of $135,000. I did just the opposite. What I have asked for is the bare minimum and trying to keep it comparative to the outgoing CoP.”
Griffith said he also looked at a salary that was below a Cabinet minister who is paid $41,000.
“That is where I committed to $40,000. The $40,000 would just about equate with Mr Williams’ (Stephen, acting CoP) because my salary would not have a pension.”
He said while Williams would receive a monthly pension following retirement “I would be leaving the job as top cop with empty hands.”
Griffith said in his terms and conditions, he did not ask for additional allowances.
“So all of the allowances that the previous commissioners would have received my allowances would have been exact to what was on the SRC’s rates.”
These included transport facilities, subsistence allowance, housing, entertainment, vacation leave, telecommunication facilities, duty allowance, uniform, medical benefits and pension and gratuity.
At Thursday’s post Cabinet media briefing, National Security Minister Stuart Young said Griffith’s proposal had been put in the hands of the Chief Personnel Officer for review and advice.
Questioned if he would take up occupancy at the CoP’s residence at the Barrack in St James or his Maraval home, Griffith said, “I am not going to make any comment on that until the contract is approved.”
He also shied away from revealing the length of his contract.
Griffith said he will remain out of office until the agreement is finalised.
Griffith, who is abroad, is expected back home on August 16 while Williams will go on vacation leave from August 17 to 30.