Georgetown, Guyana – (December 18, 2019) President David Granger, this morning, told senior Officers of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) that Guyanese desire a Force, which they can trust and it is therefore incumbent on the organisation to ensure that they understand their roles and responsibilities and make every effort to fulfil these.
The President was at the time speaking at the Annual Commissioner of Police Breakfast, which was held at the Force’s Conference Room, Eve Leary.
“This profession is based on public trust and without that trust, policing cannot succeed. I understand the importance of policing to this country and the people of this country. The people want a Police Force they can trust. The people want to cooperate with the Police. People want to look out their windows and see the Police patrolling. People want to approach the Police and get help. People want to live in a safe society. They want their girl children to go to school and come home late from lessons in safety. These are the things that all Guyanese want and I want you to be the type of Force that the Guyanese want you to be,” he said.
President Granger stated that it is for this reason that his Government has embarked, over the last four and half years, on an ambitious programme, to improve the security in this country. He noted that while some people had been hesitant with the changes, he is confident that the changes that have been taking place will make Guyana safer for citizens and investors alike.
The Commander-in-chief of the armed forces said that while the Police Force was established 180 years ago, during the colonial times to control the large working population, the role has now evolved from being one of controlling the population to protecting the population and it is therefore important that Officers recognise this.
“Everything that is happening, you will see the benefits in the years to come and I am proud and pleased that the Police have understood the changes and are working with the Commissioner to ensure the changes benefit not only the Officers but the general public, which is bound to look to the Police Force for its safety. I am happy that we have put together a team and year by year changes are taking place to improve the efficiency of the Police Force. My aim is to make the Guyana Police Force the best in the Caribbean Commonwealth,” he said.
President Granger said that over the next ten years, the changes that are taking place now will result in an unimaginable Guyana. He added that a better Force is needed in order to convince investors that Guyana is the place to be.
The Head of State also used the opportunity to congratulate Commissioner of Police, Mr. Leslie James and his Deputy Commissioners for the work done over the past year as he noted that they have embraced the much needed changes that are taking place and will continue to take place to make the Force a better, more efficient organisation.
“I congratulate the Commissioner and his team for the zeal with which they have implemented those changes. When you look at the distance, we have travelled over the last four and half years, you will see the placing of Mounted Police, the regionalisation of the Police command structure [and] I have appointed four Deputy Commissioners of Police. These are important changes that will strengthen the institution of the Police Force so that younger officers can see a clear path, a professional path if they are going to go to Intelligence, Operations, Administration, they can now see that the ceiling that prevented them from moving forward and upward has been removed,” President Granger noted.
Meanwhile, Commissioner James in his remarks, said that while the Police Force has had a good year overall, there have been numerous challenges including the misconduct of both senior and junior ranks. However, he noted that the successes of the Force have outnumbered the challenges and the ranks and officers must be commended.
“We have been able to achieve, as mandated by our Strategic Plan, our Police Reform Board. It is the oversight body for the Plan, which ends in 2021. We were able to implement Human Resources departments across the Police Divisions. We have been able to achieve the alignment of Police Divisions across Regions one to 10. That realignment has seen significantly a better management of resources, human and otherwise and has significantly [seen] better management of crime and traffic. We have seen an increase in road carnage and this has resulted in the operationalisation of ‘Safe Roads’. That operation is expected to last for as long as we think we have seen a change in the attitude of motorists,” he shared.
He noted that the Force welcomes the public’s scrutinization since ranks are expected to provide their duties with diligence and professionalisation and it will continue to work
on its public relations, public trust and image to ensure that it becomes a hallmark of service and protection.
Minister of Public Security, Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mr. Basil Williams and Minister of Citizenship and former Police Commissioner, Mr. Winston Felix were also present at the breakfast.