Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee in a letter to the newspapers today has warned against police officers speaking in contravention of the force’s standing orders. The letter was a clear reference to commander David Ramnarine who has been speaking on a variety of issues. Rohee did not name Ramnarine in the letter.
The letter follows:
Standing Order 38(a) of the Guyana Police Force states:
“The following Officers only are authorized to issue releases
to the Press on behalf of the Commissioner in respect of the
subjects shown against their names:
Assistant Commissioner Law Enforcement – Criminal matters
Traffic Officer – Traffic matters
Public Relations & Press Officer – All releases with reference to other matters
In every case, releases must be approved by the Commissioner of Police”
Every Member of the Force without exception is duty bound to honour the Standing Orders of the Organization.
he worst that can happen is for a Senior Rank of the Guyana Police Force to honour the Standing Orders in the breach and to declare publicly that he is free to do so.
Such an act is unpardonable and must be rejected, further it is bound to send the wrong signal to subordinate ranks within the Organization as well to the criminal elements in society.
The Standing Orders are for all without exception. It is a long established principle that the example must be set from the top.
Commanders of the Guyana Police Force must take full responsibility when, as a result of their breaching the Standing Orders, the issues they pursue publicly becomes politically controversial resulting in the Force being put unnecessarily on trial publicly.
It has long been established that Opposition political parties and sections of the Media have for one reason or another adopted a hostile, non-supportive and biased stand towards the Guyana Police Force.
Over the years there has not been a single issue which the political opposition nor the opposition Media have either supported or congratulated the Guyana Police Force for, on the contrary, every effort has been made to denigrate, down play or totally ignore the successes which the GPF has scored from time to time in its efforts to fight crime.
Thus, Commanders of the Force must take into account these factors when contemplating going public on a matters of internal interest to the Organization.
In today’s context, any violation of the Standing Orders of the Guyana Police Force must be seen as supportive of the prevailing thrust of the political opposition as well as the opposite Media. There are long established internal procedures within the Guyana Police Force to address any concern ranks may have. To ignore these internal procedures and to opt to publicly parade the issue in the name of “transparency” and “accountability” is to act in a manner inimical to the interests of the Organization.
In this situation Officers may become transformed into political tools of those who pretend to be friends of the Force, and who at the same time seek to besmirch the integrity of their fellow colleagues in the Organization.
It is apposite to note that the Commander involved in the current brouhaha absented himself for the entire duration of the recently concluded Police Officers’ Conference on the grounds that he was “sick” and had “nothing new to learn” from the Organization which was instrumental in making him become the “qualified and educated Police Officer” he claims to be.
The Commander of ‘C’ Division must be fully aware of the political implications of his actions not to mention his êntre into the political arena now that the political opposition has opportunistically taken up his cudgels
To defend the Officer’s violation of the Police Standing Orders is a clear indication of the Opposition’s predisposition to encourage lawlessness, indiscipline and total disrespect for long standing protocols within the Guyana Police Force.
The Ministry of Home Affairs denounces these unsavoury tactics and wishes to make it clear to those who seek to promote such acts of indiscipline within the Guyana Police Force (GPF) that they will not succeed.
As the government agency with oversight responsibility for the Guyana Police Force, the Ministry of Home Affairs will continue in its efforts to promote professionalism, ethical and high standards of behavior and performance by ranks within the Guyana Police Force.
Senior Ranks of the Force must exercise good judgement and avoid being drawn publicly under the pretext of being “fearless” and “outspoken” into matters which have the potential of ballooning into political controversies.
Clement J. Rohee