De-corrupting the police…….and the other High officials too

Corruption has become the hottest topic among the top brass of the Guyana Police Force these days………….How to get rid of corruption, that is. It appears that the new Top Cop (acting) has been told in no uncertain terms that weaning his men and women off corruption has to be a priority pursuit. Home Affairs Minister Rohee has been hanging lie detector tests over the heads of the top brass in the Force which is probably not an eventuality that everyone would welcome. How to cheat these little machines may well become a preoccupation among the mean and women who serve and protect. Recall that lie detector tests have already undone a few CANU operatives.

Whether to start at the top of the Force or at the bottom is something which is reportedly under consideration at this time. The view has been expressed that perhaps the ‘runnings men’ – the small-time nickel and time traffic boys who specialize in shaking down traffic offenders and the black-clothed motor cycle hustlers whose style is more akin to outright harassment should be made to face the lie detectors first. After that we might move up to the comrades at CID and Special Branch, the ‘road men’ who reportedly know the criminal underworld better than they know their own living rooms.

Then there’s the argument for starting at the top. That way, you get to know who is ‘handling’ whom since – so the story goes – the men on the streets, the ‘front men,’ that is, have their separate handlers at the top. It figures. After all why should the boys on the streets not cut their bosses in for a share of the takings?

The bigger problem with lie detector tests is that success can become its own enemy. Two or three corrupt cops get exposed and the next thing you know is that people start clamouring for the tests to be taken further up the food chain – to other well-placed servants of the state – like Permanent Secretaries who run ministerial tender boards and the collectors of taxes and duties and the next thing you know is that the whole thing takes on a life of its own; Imagine the commotion if the parliamentary opposition shows up in the National Assembly with a Bill seeking to have serving and ex-government officials face those tests given all the rumours that are circulating about percentage deals in state contracts and hiving off resources to overseas investors.

“Won’t work,” according to an ‘old head’ in the system. Those Bills will never secure executive ratification. They will die and rot in New Garden street.  It figures since once awkward truths begin to surface all hell will break loose in the Republic. Well-placed people will cease to be well-placed. They will be running helter-skelter to ‘beat out’ of the Republic by backtrack or front track or whatever other track might present itself. At any rate the ‘old head’ is not optimistic that lie detector tests will get very far. “People will prefer to resign and cut and run with what they have rather than have to face the ugly truths and even uglier consequences,” he says.



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