The Guyana Police Force (GPF) yesterday held a farewell parade in honour of Police Commissioner Leroy Brumell, who has retired after 36 years of service and who expressed the wish for a change in the force’s image.
Hundreds of police and civilians turned out at the parade, along with President Donald Ramotar and Prime Minister Samuel Hinds at the Police Sports Club Ground, Eve Leary. Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee was also present. Brumell is expected to be succeeded by Crime Chief Seelall Persaud.
Brumell started out with the GPF in 1977, rising to the rank of Cadet Officer in 1985, superintendent in 1998,
and Assistant Commissioner in 2005 where he served until he was promoted to Commissioner (Acting) in 2011. He was confirmed to the position in October 2013.
As he addressed a crowd of supporters and well-wishers, Brumell said he will now devote his time to his home and family and make up for the years spent serving in the police force.
“Thank you for the opportunity to serve…I will now devote my time to my home…” he said. “Those days (days as a police and commissioner) are behind me…I have gained friends and lost friends along the way,” he said.
Brumell said the police force has changed over the years and the respect for officers has faded and their uniforms have lost its honour. “No longer is a police trusted…no longer is a police respected…no longer is the uniform respected,” he said, urging the police force to give their best to regain the trust of the people and drive fear in the minds of those who disregard the law.
“For too long our image has taken a beating,” Brumell stated, adding that he hopes for a change. He said the force needs “thinkers who are considerate and compassionate”.
Brumell pledged his full support to his successor. “Being at the top is a lonely place…please understand your decisions wouldn’t please everyone….and your phone will ring all day and you will always be in meetings,” he said, encouraging police to give the new commissioner their support.
He further insisted that the new commissioner respect his subordinates in the GPF who serve him, cautioning him that if “he treat them like crap then they will work like crap”, drawing cheers from police and civilians in the pavilions.
Addressing the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, Brumell stated that they were the new breed of officers that will maintain order in society through crisis control and resolution tactics.
“Your new leader will afford you the same opportunities that I have given you,” he said.