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Monday 10 August, 2020

Griffith slams critics of TTPS hospital: While they work, you sleep

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith is defending the need for a private hospital for members of the TTPS after he noted "misguided" comments on social media. 

On December 3, 2019, Griffith announced plans for the facility which he said will reduce the expense of private hospital visits.

In a statement on Monday, he provided the following information: 

"- The building already exists and is located at the Police Training Academy, St James, and the CoP is simply operationalizing and upgrading the system to make it more accessible and
efficient in service to Police Officers.

- It should not simply be seen as an expense, as it will reduce cost, where TTPS has been spending millions of dollars annually, as Police officers have been going to private
institutions for specialized medical care. This Police Hospital will also be able to meet the specialized care needs of officers.

- By reducing this annual cost, it will actually save taxpayers more money and assist in the effectiveness of the Police Service to have officers attended to; and back out to work in a timely
basis where it is possible, this will eliminate the time wasted waiting for assistance at other health institutions.

- On a daily basis, there are on average 100 officers seeking medical assistance and only one doctor available who can see an average of 15 persons per day. This has proven to be counter-
productive and is inefficient.

- Police officers who complete their period of sick leave, are required to be cleared before resuming duties and having the dedicated police hospital will improve the timeliness of
declaring an officer fit to work, thereby building the manpower within the TTPS."

The top cop believes upgrading the police hospital will improve morale and motivation within the service.

He says, “whilst those who criticize this proactive approach are asleep at 2:00 am, hundreds of officers are on duty throughout the night, and they are human and may fall ill. At times it may just require minor medication. Whereas previously it may have taken hours for them to be taken care of in a public health facility, with the hospital being opened 24/07, it can ensure that they are quickly taken care of so they can get back on the streets during the night to secure the same individuals who criticize.”

Calling concerns raised by the public "unfortunate" Griffith pledges to continue to do what is needed for the benefit of his officers and the service.

"...it is indeed unfortunate that anyone should see this as a negative, but based on the aforementioned factors, the establishment of a well-staffed and equipped Police Hospital, is needed, and as a leader, I would do what is required to look after the well-being and welfare of those under my command.”

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